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What You See is What You Get With Cincy's Marty Gilyard

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The long, winding road Cincinnati wide receiver Marty Gilyard has taken to the NFL is not a path many would choose. Yet Gilyard insists it's essential to his character and the man he is today.

In 2006, Gilyard was declared ineligible due to academics. The loss was only the beginning for him as the rest of life fell out underneath his feet. "It took me from a kid that felt like he was full -- from a kid that felt like I was everything and anything to football in Cincinnati -- to someone that didn’t have anything at all. I was homeless in the city. I lost my scholarship. I got evicted from my house. With that all in mind, I had to find faith and myself. I had to grow up. I was a real knucklehead kid. Arrogant, cocky, immature. I had to grow up, so that helped me out a lot. I wouldn’t change it for nothing."

That time living in his 2002 Grand Am and working various jobs -- selling kitchen cutlery, delivering pizza, working construction and cooking at an Italian joint -- became invaluable life experience, something Gilyard says he wouldn't change if he could. "There’s no time to hand anything. I wouldn’t be me if I hadn’t gone through those things. I have no shame in my game. I speak it truthfully and as gracefully as I can. I try not to sugarcoat anything. When you get caught up in sugarcoating you might slip in a lie here and there and that’s what not what I’m about."

In terms of on-field production, Gilyard self-describes his strengths as a wide receiver as bringing "speed and good hands to the game. And with that in mind -- I’ve got speed and I’ve got hands -- when I do get the ball in my hands, that’s what makes me extremely dangerous. I’m good at making those yards after catch."

Gilyard also notes his ability to return kicks as a plus. "It just shows that I’m versatile and I’m not just a receiver that catches balls. I can also play outside. I can play in the slot and back slot. Just to add that element of kick return and punt return and knowing that I’m dangerous at both of them too. Adds an extra plus to the game."

With the Chiefs charted interest in Gilyard, it might become a road that continues in Kansas City.