|J.T. Floyd (#12)|
Weight: 183 lbs.
High school: J.L. Mann High School in Greenville, SC
Class: Redshirt junior
Jersey number: #12
Last year: I ranked Floyd #7, said he would start at cornerback, and projected 55 tackles and 2 interceptions. He started 8 games at cornerback and finished with 66 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 5 pass breakups, and 1 forced fumble.
It's hard to get mad at Floyd for his shortcomings. Sometimes it's easy to get mad at players who waste their talent (examples include Boubacar Cissoko and Gabe Watson, for different reasons), but most of us knew from the get-go that a starting defensive backfield that included Floyd last season was going to be suspect. And it was. Michigan finished #112 in the country (out of 120 teams) in pass defense, giving up over 261 yards a game through the air. Not all of it was Floyd's fault - a huge chunk of the blame goes to recruiting failures and poor coaching. But Floyd just isn't quick enough or athletic enough to stay with high quality receivers. It's typically not a good thing when your starting cornerback racks up 66 tackles . . . in the first eight games. That tells me that receivers were catching a lot of balls in front of him. Then he hurt his ankle and hasn't been allowed to have contact since.
The 2011 version of the defensive backfield has more depth. Literally, not a single cornerback had starting experience going into 2010 (Troy Woolfolk was injured in the summer). This year there are three corners who have started - Floyd, Woolfolk, and sophomore Courtney Avery. I expect the latter two to win the starting jobs, which leaves Floyd to battle with incoming freshmen for the #3 corner job. He's a solid backup to have on the team and can spell the starters if necessary, but unfortunately for him, he's just a little behind most of the other guys in athleticism.
Prediction: Backup cornerback