ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — President-elect Joe Biden, a former classmate of Floyd Little's at Syracuse University, remembered Little's life on Saturday after the Hall of Famer passed away at the age of 78.
"Floyd Little and I were students at Syracuse University together," Biden said in a statement. "I was in law school and he was a star halfback on the football team. I watched him play in Archbold Stadium, his number 44 flashing by defenders who had no chance, running as if he was chasing the spirit of his dear friend and fellow 44 legend, Ernie Davis.
"In the years that followed, I got to know Floyd as the man behind the number. He was full of character, decency, and integrity. He was always gracious with his time with fans — parents and grandparents who wanted to introduce their children and grandchildren to a genuine role model.
"I was one of them. My family got to know Floyd. We'd call each other after Syracuse games and to check in on one another. I remember our call when he was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and the joy in his voice. And I remember the more recent call when he shared his cancer diagnosis, and how fearless he was in his conviction to fight it. As with everything else he did in life, Floyd lived to the very end with grit and heart, and love for his family and faith in God.
"I will miss my friend. He was a good man. The entire Biden family sends our love to DeBorah and the entire Little family."
Little, who was a three-time All-American at Syracuse from 1964-66, said in 2019 that after his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2010, he received a call from "two Joes."
One was from Hall of Famer Joe Greene, who told Little he was the best football player he'd competed against.
The other was from Joe Biden, then the vice president of the United States.
"I had to validate him, because he said he was sitting with eight Secret Service agents who didn't believe he knew me," Little said in 2019. "So he called me on the phone and we had a conversation about our relationship and how I knew his two sons, Beau and Hunter, and we went to school together. I could hear him in the background, 'I told you. I told you.'"
Biden also recorded a taped message for Little's Hall of Fame enshrinement in 2010.
To read more on the life of Floyd Little, click here.