“I’m real excited for him going to a Division I, SEC school,” Carroll County head coach Tom Hale said Monday.
Hale said UT head coach Phillip Fulmer called Ayers Thursday evening, inviting him to Knoxville, Tenn. Because of snow and ice Friday, Ayers’ trip was delayed until Saturday. Upon arrival, Hale said Fulmer offered Ayers a spot to join the team as an invited walk-on. Hale said Fulmer told Ayers the plan was for him to redshirt as the Vols’ current punter, Britton Colquitt, will be a senior in 2008.
“If everything works out, Fulmer said they would scholarship him his remaining four years,” Hale said. “Cody is real excited. When they got there, they gave him the royal treatment. Coach Fulmer was there and they had a van waiting for him. Coach Fulmer brought him in and Cody got to hold the crystal national championship trophy (the Vols won the BCS national championship with a victory over Florida State in 1998).”
Hale said Ayers plans to attend summer school at Tennessee this year.
A 6-1, 227-pound senior, Ayers averaged 40 yards per punt this year. That number was down from his 44-yard average during his All-Group AA sophomore season because Carroll asked Ayers to do more angled and pooch punts this season.
“As he got more experience, we started to ask him to do more things to help us out other than punt it away,” Hale said late last year.