Floyd Little is a pleasant young man with a bright personality who, at 22, has been around longer than most sophomores. He will play halfback at Syracuse, and if Coach Ben Schwartzwalder is any judge he will play it very well. "Right now," says Schwartzwalder, "he is as far along as Jim Brown and Ernie Davis were as sophomores." Brown and Davis, of course, were the All-Americas most responsible for making Syracuse the football power it is today.
Little is smaller, at 5 feet 11 and 190 pounds, than either Brown or Davis and cannot overpower defenders as they did. He must rely on his swiftness (9.7 for the 100), excellent balance and remarkable change of pace to go around would-be tacklers. He arrived at Syracuse by a route as circuitous as his running. Discovered at Hill-house High in New Haven, Conn., Little spent the next two years at Bordentown ( N.J.) Military Institute, made a feint toward Notre Dame, which thought it had him, entertained thoughts of Army, among many other colleges, and finally landed on Piety Hill. At Bordentown he piled up 1,237 yards rushing in 1962, averaged 11.5 yards a carry, scored 24 touchdowns and broke the state record for the 100-yard dash. As a Syracuse freshman, Little was only slightly less sensational and, as a fillip, developed into a fine blocker and tackler.
Navy's Wayne Hardin is as pleased with one of his sophomores as Schwartzwalder is with Little. Of Don Downing, a 215-pound center, he says, "Downing is the same caliber prospect as Bellino, Staubach and Donnelly." Downing's great knack for diagnosing plays and then knocking down ballcarriers earns him the praise. Army has two rangy ends, Tom Schwartz, a 220-pound former high school All-America at Cretin High in St. Paul, and Dave Rivers, another schoolboy All-America from Kentucky, who will toughen up the Cadet defense. Harvard's Steve Diamond, a tackle, comes by his ability naturally. His brothers, Charlie and Bill, were star linemen at Miami, but Steve, they say, is the shiniest Diamond of all.