Led by tight end's coach Jim Bridge and special team's coach Jerry Petercuskie, NC State has renewed their efforts into recruiting the state of South Carolina. This past weekend the Wolfpack hosted better than a half dozen prospects from the Palmetto State with one of the headliners being standout CB JT Floyd of JL Mann High School in Greenville, SC. Pack Pride caught up with Floyd for the latest on his recruiting.
At 6-0, 185 pounds, Floyd was timed at 4.43-seconds earlier this year at a Shrine Bowl combine held in South Carolina. Those attributes have helped him to become one of South Carolina's top two way players and Floyd has the versatility to make big plays on either side of the ball.
Lining up as punt returner, kick returner, wide receiver and safety, Floyd rarely leaves the field. On offense, he's tallied 29 receptions for 476 yards and three touchdowns. However, it's defense where Floyd plans to make his mark in college and that's the spot where numerous colleges have him pegged for 2008. The senior athlete told Pack Pride that either secondary spot would be just fine with him.
"In high school I play safety and corner, so I wouldn't mind dabbling in both," said Floyd. "That wouldn't be a bad thing to play safety sometimes because the safety has to cover the slot receiver a lot of times in the cover two scheme. So just playing safety or corner in the defensive secondary is where I think my home is."
After receiving heavy, early interest from Tennessee, Floyd made a commitment to the Vols a little over a year ago. Today he calls himself a "soft verbal" to UT but continues to keep an eye on a few schools. This past weekend he was in Raleigh for the Pack's matchup with Louisville and he appeared to be impressed with the trip.
"My initial reaction was, I was kind of surprised in a good way about how the facilities were," said Floyd. "I didn't expect them to be as nice as they were. That was a huge surprise for me and something I liked. You know they take pride in everything and that's a real big thing.
"I also enjoyed my meetings with coach O'Brien. Coach Bridge walked me around a lot and just talked to me and introduced me to the strength coach. They kind of told me some of things they do which was real intriguing. Their main thing is flexibility. They do a series of tests that you have to pass to be able to lift. I think that's just a different twist that will help you stay injury free. It just keeps you loose and ultimately makes you faster because the more flexible you are, the faster you are."
Floyd added that one of NC State's main selling points is the opportunity to be part of head coach Tom O'Brien's first full recruiting class at NC State.
"The main thing with NC State is bringing in a new coaching staff so it's a whole new philosophy there," he said. "It's their first full class so the thing about being the coach's first recruiting class is huge to me and let's me know he's going to take pride in that. It feels special to me to know that he wants me to be a part of that."
Floyd also had a chance to meet a couple of current Wolfpack commits and they couldn't help but get in a little friendly ribbing about this year's upcoming Shrine Bowl contest that pits North Carolina's best against the top players from South Carolina.
"I talked to Terrell Manning and TJ Graham and they were kind of teaming up against me about playing in the Shrine Bowl. They're both two talented players so I'm looking forward to competing against them."
Floyd boasts a couple of family connections to his recruiting with one uncle who played for NC State and another that played at South Carolina. Neither have put the full court press on just yet and, instead, simply want Floyd to go into the situation that best suits his needs.
"My family doesn't put too much pressure on me," he said. "My uncle (former NC State DL Mike Jones) used to brag about the Wolfpack back when they had Philip (Rivers) and even before that when they had Torry Holt. So he used to brag on them but now he's kind of simmered down and wants me to make the choice on whatever is in my best interest."
With his commitment to Tennessee still intact, Floyd plans to look at a few other schools and he's in the process of scheduling his official visits. He's got one already set with a couple more in the works.
"I'm still looking at Michigan along with NC State, Maryland and possibly, North Carolina," he said. "I've set up one (official visit) to Michigan for the Ohio State game which I think is Nov 17 and I'll probably take the rest of them after that. I'll probably take the one to NC State. I've been up to a game and I want to come back to view the campus and things of that nature and meet the academic staff. That will probably be after my season."
Floyd is currently rated a three-star prospect and the No. 27 safety in the nation by Scout.com.