J.T. Floyd wants to 'make plays' in secondary for Michigan football team
J.T. Floyd’s motto as cornerback is simple.
“Make plays,” Floyd said last month after the Michigan football team's spring game. “That’s all you got to do to be successful out here.”
Lon Horwedel | AnnArbor.com
He played in nine games and made two starts last year as a redshirt freshman, and said his performance down the stretch - he made three tackles and held his own in pass coverage in the Wolverines’ season-ending loss to Ohio State - bolstered his belief that he could be a starting cornerback in the Big Ten.
“I learned just to trust my instincts,” Floyd said. “Just go out there, just believe in my eyes, trust in what I’m seeing and go after it.”
Defensive coordinator Greg Robinson said Floyd, one of Michigan’s most physical cornerbacks, made gains in the weight room that helped him approach spring “like an experienced football player.”
“He looks better, he looks thicker in his uniform,” Robinson said.
Teammates said they noticed a new air about Floyd, too.
“He came out being more confident than ever,” safety Vladimir Emilien said. “He started picking things off. That was a person that really surprised me.”
Floyd is far from guaranteed a starting job. Incoming freshmen Cullen Christian and Demar Dorsey (if he makes it to campus) will challenge for playing time, and backup cornerback J.T. Turner, a redshirt freshman, has some of the highest upside on the team.
But if he can lock down the right side, Michigan's young and inexperienced secondary could turn from huge question mark into a surprising strength.
“I think we’re headed in the right direction,” Floyda said. “We’re not there yet, but we got this summer to work with (strength coach) Mike Barwis, who’s the best in the country, and we’re looking for a real productive season this fall.”
Dave Birkett covers University of Michigan football for AnnArbor.com. He can be reached by phone at 734-623-2552 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davebirkett.