The pressure was getting J.T. Floyd and his father knew it. A parent can sense these things in his or her child, and the feeling Mr. Floyd was getting from his son was unmistakable.
“I could tell things were getting to him a little,” Mr. Floyd said. “J.T. just wanted to get the decision over with.”
Realizing that, Mr. Floyd supported his son in making an obvious next move. J.T. informed coaches at Tennessee and Georgia Tech that he would not be attending their schools. Then he made the call to Ann Arbor.
“I called Coach Rodriguez to inform him of my decision,” Floyd told GoBlueWolverine Wednesday night. “He and Coach Gibson’s family were having dinner together at a restaurant. When I told him I was coming to Michigan Coach Rodriguez and Gibson were very excited. They were real loud! I was just happy to let them know and glad that it was over with. Now I guess I will be thinking about a roommate. Me and Mike Martin hit it off really well… and then maybe I might room with Brandon Smith who knows. Both of those guys are cool, so I can’t go wrong with either one.”
Michigan became a constant presence in Floyd’s mind after making visits last summer and for the homecoming game against Purdue.
“It was real nice,” Floyd said recalling his initial impressions of his time on campus. “I had a chance to see all of those fans cheering and just being inside the Big House was special. I like and respect there tradition. It also helped that Charles Woodson was one of my favorites and the fact that he attended Michigan.”
Those surface factors were pivotal in getting Floyd on the hook, but reeling him into Ann Arbor required more substance. The people in the Michigan program provided that.
“I had a good vibe when I went on my visit,” he explained. “I had it with the coaching staff and with the players. It just felt real comfortable up there. The players really made me feel like I was a part of the team all the players made me feel that way. The coaching staff had a plan for me to get on the field right away. All I wanted was a chance to compete. The coaches are giving me that chance at two positions; safety and cornerback. I feel that the opportunity at Michigan is the one that was best for me.”
“The players just made me feel real comfortable too,” continued Floyd. “If I had to single someone out it would be Donovan Warren. He did not pressure me at all. We just talked like we had known each other for along time. He is a real good guy. He told me that we can turn this around together… all of us. I never felt like he was sizing me up or that he didn’t want me around. Donovan made me feel like even though we would be competing against each other, there would not be any animosity between us. He made a very good impression on me during my visit to Ann Arbor.”
Just as key in his decision was Floyd’s relationship with his would-be coaches. When Lloyd Carr retired and his staff was let go, the Maize & Blue’s odds of securing talented youngster began to look a bit murky. However, things cleared up once he met the new staff.
“Coach Campbell did a good job when he was at Michigan,” Floyd said referring to the former receivers coach. “Coach Gibson finished the job. Coach Gibson did a great job of recruiting me. He has the type of energy and passion that I like from a coach. He likes to play an aggressive style of defense and that is the style that I like to play. The coaching staff had to work hard and get to know who I was just like I need to know who they were. The coaching change only affected me when I did not know who the new staff would be. After Michigan picked Coach Rodriguez my dad said we would see what they were talking about. I really enjoy Coach Rodriguez. He is a coach that I am going to love to play for. He is active and very involved with the players. He is a coach that will get the best out of his players and he is young enough to still relate to us.”
Even after J.T. and his father were convinced that Michigan was the place to be, there was still one person to sell.
To find out whom, stay tuned to GoBlueWolverine for part two.