Hooker: Will Floyd stay committed to UT?

Surely Michigan can't have much recruiting allure.

The Wolverines, after all, have been the most disappointing team in college football and are on their way to being one of the biggest flops in recent history.

Losing to Appalachian State isn't enough to totally derail a recruiting class. But following that up with a 39-7 loss to Oregon at home is a sign that Lloyd Carr could be reaching the end of the line.

The Wolverines have been de-clawed - if not neutered. There's no reason for a prospect to venture to Ann Arbor, right?

That's not what Tennessee commitment J.T. Floyd says.

"If they're struggling, maybe they need me to help them out," said Floyd, who will visit Michigan for the Notre Dame game this weekend.

"I'm just going up there to catch a game, kind of compare it to Neyland Stadium. It should be an exciting game. Both teams are struggling right now."

Floyd obviously isn't dismayed by Michigan's 0-2 start. He'll even explain why that season opener went so wrong.

"You have to remember App State is two-time defending champs," the 5-foot-11, 180-pounder from J.L. Mann High School in Greenville, S.C. said. "They're no slouch."

Floyd maintains he's still a UT commitment, even though he's scheduled to take official visits to Michigan, North Carolina State, South Carolina and Maryland.

"I think all those schools have great coaches and the position coaches are great," Floyd said. "Wherever I see the best fit for me is where I'll be."

Floyd said he'll announce his final decision sometime before Christmas. But coaches may want to wait until National Signing Day in February before they count Floyd as a sure thing.

The Vols certainly have the inside track. They have Floyd's commitment and, maybe more importantly, have impressed him lately, thanks to freshman Eric Berry.

"That's definitely a big thing," Floyd said of UT's coaches playing Berry early. "Seeing him lets me know that they'll play you early if you're ready."

There certainly some similarities between Floyd and Berry's recruitment. Both consider defensive back their best position, even though either could leverage themselves into an offensive position.

"If I'm best fitted there," Floyd said of cornerback, "that's what I'll do."

Playing cornerback hasn't been much fun for Floyd this season. His reputation precedes him.

"They don't throw my way at all," Floyd said. "They threw one time my way and I picked it off."

Fans certainly had cause for concern last week. Totally committed UT prospects within driving range typically make home games.

Floyd said he planned on attending last Saturday's game against Southern Miss, but couldn't make the trip because of a family obligation.

Sommer Daze: I truly hope that Brian Sommer's football days aren't over, even though his career at Alcoa is.

Much of that will rely on Tornadoes coach Gary Rankin, on whom college recruiters will depend.

"Is Sommer a bad kid, or did he make a bad mistake?" they'll ask.

Sommer was kicked off Alcoa's football team after police found marijuana in his car.

I commend Rankin for taking a hard line, but the punishment shouldn't outweigh the crime.

Losing his entire senior season is enough. Imagine spending the entire fall in that football-oriented community being Brian Sommer. College football should still be in Sommer's future.

His dismissal can't help UT - if the Vols are still willing to accept him.

Would Sommer really want to stay so close to where it all went so wrong? He was considering offers from Alabama, Colorado and South Carolina before his arrest.

I'm sure Sommer will still have a shot. I'm sure college coaches will take talent over an arrest.

I'm sure Sommer deserves that opportunity. But, if you're reading this Brian, I wouldn't expect any more chances.

Florida Connection Part I: Remember Jermaine Cunningham. He was one of three defensive players that UT was sure it would land in the 2006 class. Instead, the Vols were 0-for-3.

Cunningham went to Florida, where he'll start today against the Vols.

It's hard to knock his decision given his success and a championship ring in his pocket.

I don't think Cunningham would be a starter at UT, considering the Vols have two senior defensive ends.

However, I do believe he could be a pass-rushing specialist at UT given his quickness and speed.

Oh, and as for the other two Stone Mountain products who spurned the Vols; linebackers Perry Riley and Kelvin Sheppard signed with LSU.

Florida Connection Part II: I have to admit I'm a bit surprised that of the three Florida players UT signed in 2005, none is likely to start this season.

UT fans cheered Ron Zook as he lost his job and Florida's hold on defensive back Demetrice Morley, defensive lineman Vladimir Richard and linebacker Gerald Williams.

Who's laughing now? Morley was dismissed for academic shortcomings. Richard was moved to the offensive line where he's starting to get a foothold. And Williams is in a California junior college still trying to be deemed academically eligible.

Dave Hooker covers recruiting. He may be reached at hookerd@knews.com.

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Comments » 10

mzwickey#218856 writes:

who cares...........

Pullingguard writes:

Is this guy really good enough to be getting all this attention. He certainly does not get much press coverage doing anything special for his high school team.

jdcvols#230433 writes:

Go somewhere else unless we fire our phat coach.

utvols1 writes:

You honestly think that any 4 or 5 star player would consider UT now? Seeing our entire team laydown in the 3rd and 4th quarter against UF was enough to make any recruit change his mind. I'll bet Berry will transfer at the end of this year too. EVERYONE needs to write a letter to Hamilton. It's probably going to be one more year of Phill but it won't hurt to let Mike know. Come to think of it other than Pearl he hasn't done much right either!

Tanker writes:

Run away young man! You and all other prospects will have no joy in Knoxville until there is sweeping changes in the coaching staff.

jhenson#377512 writes:

We've got guys on the field who aren't committed to Tennessee football, why should we expect this young man to be committed after what he has seen so far this season?

auttat writes:

We've seriously come to the point where we are telling kids not to come here? People, grow up. The very thing that will get us out of this mess, and you idiots are telling them not come to school here. Can we fire you as fans?

CoverOrange writes:

"The Wolverines, after all, have been the most disappointing team in college football and are on their way to being one of the biggest flops in recent history."

You mean the 2005 edition of UT football may be bumped to #2 in the "most disappointing" rankings? We can't even keep that championship for more than a few years.

Colliervol writes:

I was about to say. If this kid is still taking all official visits and is saying he'll make his decision later, he shouldn't be listed as a "commitment". Personally, I don't pay much attention to commitments until signing day.

rsarazen#221200 writes:

Recruits like Percy Harvin will choose Florida or LSU over UT everytime because these current high school recruits are now seeing how other schools use high profile freshman as starters and that is where they will want to go. Again, all Fulmer does is dummy down their skills and implement them into a non-explosive offense.

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