Lloyd brings humor, talent to Redskins

Washington Redskins wide receivers Antwaan Randle El, left, and Brandon Lloyd laugh at training camp, in Ashburn, Va. in this Aug. 10 file photo. The Associated Press

Washington Redskins wide receivers Antwaan Randle El, left, and Brandon Lloyd laugh at training camp, in Ashburn, Va. in this Aug. 10 file photo. The Associated Press

By Shira Weissman

ASHBURN, Va. – Brandon Lloyd’s days as a rebel go back to kindergarten, where he managed to get in trouble over the prerequisite question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

His classmates had given the expected answers – firefighter, doctor, lawyer. But Lloyd’s response of “I want to be a professional athlete” didn’t please the teacher, who called his choice unrealistic.

Lloyd pushed back. “I’m like, ‘No, that’s what I want to be,'” he said. “So I got sent to the principal’s office.”

Unlikely as it might seem, that flash of discipline was a turning point in Lloyd’s young life. The principal, Brad Barnhart, told the rambunctious 5-year-old it was OK to want to be an athlete and it was a goal that could be achieved.

Twenty years later, as a well-paid receiver for the Washington Redskins, Lloyd can’t thank Barnhart enough.

“It was one of those things where he touched my life and let me go,” Lloyd said. “He understood I meant good. My intentions were good. I was never a bad kid. I just had a lot of energy. I just needed to be guided in the right direction, and he did that.”

Lloyd has brought hefty doses of both talent and character to the Redskins, who acquired him in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers in March. He and another newcomer, Antwaan Randle El, join Santana Moss to form a trio that is expected to pile up yards in new assistant coach Al Saunders’ high-octane offense. And he’s got quite the personality.

“He’s turning into one of our locker room clowns,” quarterback Mark Brunell said. “He’s loud, he’s fun, he’s a great locker room guy. He’s a great fit for us.”