When J.T. Floyd initially fell in love with Michigan it was due in large part
to the strong bond with former coaches Erik Campbell, Vance Bedford and Ron
English. He also thought Coach Carr was special. When the new staff came they
had a big sell job to undertake. The point man in the effort was new defensive
backs coach Tony Gibson. It was during his first in-home visit that he made
the impression that would prove too strong for other suitors to overcome.
“Coach Gibson came over and the visit went great,” Floyd recalled. “We had dinner, laughed, talked and had a great time. We had some very good conversations when he came to the house. We talked about where I would have the opportunity to play. Coach is very passionate about football just like I am. He reminds me a lot of my position coach in high school Coach Lewis. Me and Coach Lewis talk about a lot of things… not just football. So when I picked a school I needed someone I could talk to about anything. The way me and Coach Gibson hit it off I knew he was the one.”
At that point Floyd was sold on Michigan, but that wasn’t enough. Family is his foundation. What they think and feel is extremely important to him. His father was sold on the Maize & Blue also, but there was still one very important person in his circle that needed to be convinced that Ann Arbor was the place for him. His mother. As was the case with the men in her life, though, she was ultimately won over by the staff too.
“My mom definitely wanted me to stay close to home, so Tennessee is a place that she didn’t mind me attending,” Floyd admitted. “My family is all about academics and when Shari Acho, the academic advisor, spoke with my mom, it changed things a little for her. Shari did a great job of letting my mom know about the resources that were available for the players. Then Coach Gibson gave my mom his word that he would take care of me and stay on me about my academics. My mom and dad are very serious about my academics so that is something that I will stay on top of myself. Coach Gibson answered all of her questions and she trusts him very much.”
The Floyd family was wowed by another staff member as well. Like all of the other recruits that have witnessed knowledge and intensity of new strength coach Mike Barwis, Floyd & company were blown away.
“The demonstrations that he did were outstanding,” said Floyd. “I believe that he will get my body to perform at its optimal level. Coach Barwis was a big part of my decision to come to Michigan because I can see how much better I can be with him as strength and conditioning coach. I think he is a huge plus to the Michigan program.”
So too is J.T. Floyd.