Richard Davenport is a recruiting columnist for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
Hog Futures: Cornelius Floyd:
Arkansas a good fit for Floyd
The 20th in a series profiling newcomers on the 2014 Arkansas Razorbacks football team.
It didn't take long for Arkansas freshman cornerback Cornelius Floyd to realize during his official visit that he would end up a Razorback.
It had all the comforts of home.
Cornelius Floyd glance
WEIGHT 180 pounds
LAST STOP Gulliver Prep
NOTEWORTHY Rated as a three-star prospect. … Rated the No. 130 athlete in the nation and the No. 199 recruit in Florida by ESPN. … Recorded 45 tackles, 12 pass breakups, 7 interceptions (2 returned for touchdowns), 1 forced fumble and 1 recovered fumble. … Named Class 4A first-team defensive back by The Associated Press. … Recorded 40 tackles and two interceptions as a junior.
"I knew I was going to Arkansas after the first day of the visit after sitting down talking to people and getting to know the players," said Floyd, who played at Miami Gulliver Prep and visited Fayetteville on Jan. 17-19. "It was a place where both me and my parents were comfortable."
Much of that can be attributed to how he was received by Arkansas' fans during his visit. An official visit can last up to 48 hours, and Floyd's father, Nelson, said the one thing that caught their attention was how his son was welcomed by Razorbacks fans.
"It was like one big family, and that really stood out to me," Nelson Floyd said. "I just felt at home, and I was only there for a couple of days."
Floyd, 6-1, 180 pounds, 4.49 seconds in the 40, chose Arkansas over 20 other schools that offered him scholarships, including Oklahoma, Central Florida, Wake Forest, West Virginia, Pittsburgh and Virginia. ESPN rated him a three-star prospect, the No. 130 athlete in the nation and the No. 199 recruit in Florida.
Floyd recorded 45 tackles as a senior. He also had 7 interceptions, 2 of which he returned for scores, broke up 12 other passes, forced 1 fumble and recovered another fumble. He also was named to the Class 4A first team by The Associated Press.
Now he is looking to make an immediate impact for the Razorbacks.
"I would like to come in and get on the field and contribute," said Floyd, who narrowed his choices to Arkansas, Virginia and Central Florida. "Hopefully, SEC All-Freshman, something like that."
Floyd was one of five south Florida prospects the Razorbacks signed in February. He became familiar with his lead recruiter, linebackers coach Randy Shannon, during Shannon's tenure at Miami as an assistant coach and head coach.
"I always wanted to kind of play on the side of the ball with him and be a part of his program," Floyd said. "He's a good guy, and throughout the process he was always a father figure. He kept in touch."
Arkasnas Coach Bret Bielema also has a reputation of being forthright during the recruiting process, and Floyd's parents experienced that firsthand during the official visit.
"He didn't sugarcoat anything," Nelson Floyd said. "He was like a straight shooter with us, and that really impressed us."
Arkansas defensive backs coach Clay Jennings said Floyd has been working hard since arriving on campus in late June.
"He's getting adjusted to being the best student-athlete at Arkansas and in the SEC he can be," Jennings said." He can run and change direction, very fluid."
Floyd said his love of football started early. He said he had a football in his hands by the time he was 3 and was playing organized football by 6. Signing with the Razorbacks was the culmination of years of hard work.
"It's always been a dream of mine growing up," Floyd said. "It's just a dream come true."
Sports on 08/06/2014