The independent voice of Notre Dame Athletics

  • Floyd Returns to Irish

    by SEE

    By returning for his senior season, Michael Floyd will likely go down as the most productive receiver in Notre Dame history.  He already holds the Notre Dame record for most touchdown receptions, he’s second in most receptions and third in receiving yards.  He accomplished all of that in three injury shortened seasons.  Barring an injury as a senior, he’ll own all of those records by the time he leaves.  More importantly to Irish fans his presence ensures a shaky quarterback position will have a go-to receiver that teams will have constantly account for.  

    Floyd willed Notre Dame down the field at the end of the first half against USC and almost single handedly buried Miami early in the Sun Bowl.  More importantly, when ND needed a catch, it turned to Floyd.    Floyd accounted for over half of Notre Dame’s receiving yards against the Hurricanes despite going against Brandon Harris, a likely second round pick , who was part of  operation No. 3, a defensive game plan designed specifically to stop him.   

    “Coming into the game there was no secret who their best receiver was and their best player on offense,” UM cornerback Brandon Harris said. “Unfortunately, he was able to make some big-time plays on us.”   Arguably the biggest came on the opening drive. On third-and-16 from Notre Dame’s 40-yard line, Floyd caught a quick slant and roared down the middle of the field.  “That was a dagger in the heart,” cornerback Ryan Hill said. “That’s something that can’t happen as a defense.”

    Hurricanes defensive coordinator John Lovett said that he was wary of Floyd, who he faced while an assistant coach at North Carolina.   The Fighting Irish had Golden Tate that year, “but Floyd gave us nightmares,” Lovett said. “He was very physical. They could throw the ball up in the air and he had the ability to just go and get it.”

    “It’s not hard when you’re throwing the ball to Mike,” Rees said. “He’s such a great player. I knew that if I threw it anywhere near him he was going to make the catch.”

    If Notre Dame can sort out the quarterback position, Floyd has the talent to make a Heisman run.  Some knock his speed, but Floyd consistently outruns the fastest cornerbacks in the country.

    “This was one of the toughest decisions I have ever had to make in my life,” Floyd said. “On the one hand, there was Notre Dame. This place has been an incredible home to me and the relationships I built here are ones I know I’ll have for the rest of my life. On the other hand, there was the NFL. It has always been a lifelong goal to play football at the highest level and that is something I look forward to doing at some point. However, I’m pleased to say I will be returning to the University of Notre Dame for my senior season in 2011.

    “I’m returning to Notre Dame for three reasons: to earn my degree, return Notre Dame to the top and improve myself as a player. First, I promised my mom I would graduate from Notre Dame and I am 40 credit hours shy of attaining that goal. I chose to attend Notre Dame in part because I knew it was a 40-year decision and not a four-year decision. Graduating from Notre Dame will help me for the rest of my life. Second, I want to get Notre Dame back to a BCS game. I believe we are very close to returning the Irish to where we belong and I want to be part of something great. Lastly, I want to show everyone in the country that I’m the best wide receiver in college football in 2011. There are many things I need to improve, but I feel with the coaching I have at Notre Dame, I can become the best at my position in this game.”

    Coach Brian Kelly knows he’s the recipient of a very fortunate decision.

    “I know Michael put a great deal of thought in determining whether he should enter the NFL this year and I truly appreciate and respect him for realizing the gravity of his decision,” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said. “Whether Michael went to the NFL this year or next year would not have changed my opinion that he will have a long and successful career at the next level. I would have supported Michael’s decision either way, but obviously I am thrilled he will be part of our team in 2011.

    “As I have said many times, I have never had a player work as hard as Michael. That work ethic and passion for football proved to be contagious in our locker room and it was not a coincidence that he represented the offense as a gameday captain more than any other player this year. I’m happy Michael feels it is in his best interests to return to Notre Dame to continue his education and I look forward to the expanded leadership role he’ll have with the team this year.”

    Hopefully Floyd can avoide the “Hype Curse”. In recent times, Notre Dame players that were hyped going into their senior seasons, rarely lived up to the billing.

    31 Responses to “Floyd Returns to Irish”

    1. Michael Floyd made a great decision for the right reasons. I hope that he stays healthy so that he can accomplish all his goals and more. He seems to be a great kid and a natural leader– one who leads by example. Best wishes to him and the Irish !

      • Kudos to Michael Floyd & Brian Kelly. Their classy statements reflect very well on them, the team, and the university.

        2011: go get ’em, Michael, and don’t take any prisoners!

    2. I thank his mom…….and yes I think he made a great choice.

      Both his and Luck’s decision to return is good for college FB and shows how going to a quality school like ND or Stanford is a gift in itself.

      Plusssssss……he is a beast and will be huge next year. I predict Crist will be back and better than ever ready to resume the #1 job. Crist and Floyd are very close and will be seniors next year (Crist 1 year eligible I know). Crist never looked comfortable in spread but still made some great plays. I thought if Crist was struggling it was from all the pressure of carrying the team. All that will be different now with Defense surging and players having experience in system. What if Crist comes back and looks comfortable this year. With his size, athletisism, and arm strength we could be really good.

      I can’t wait. Signing day is soon and then they will be practicing and holding the spring game. Expect the competition and gamesmanship to be off the chart in the spring session……..woohoo

    3. Floyd is the leader – even as a Junior. He seems to have embraced that roll, particularly after Dane went dwn and the offense needed a leader on the field. He is a confident man – for good reason, of course. (owning the 3 main records for receiver by this time next year) He’s always struck me as a confident young man. Hopefully that confidence will pervade the team.

    4. I am hoping that Reese keeps the job he seems to have great charisma as well as leadership abilities so glad to here Floyd will be staying can’t wait for next season!

    5. Great news !!!

      Floyd has got to be the best receiver in the Country.

      Good for him and his commitment to Notre Dame.

      GO IRISH !!!

    6. irishhawk50 says:

      Some very good news for ND. Also, I think it might help push some of the uncommitted recruits.

      I was never sold on Crist. He always sort of had that “deer in the headlights” look about him. Maybe he will develop as he matures. However, I am sure BK will not play favorites and will make the best choice. He may even use multiple QB’s as he did at Cincy.

      I disagreed with some of his calls this year, but although he didn’t admit it, I think he would have done things differently if he had another chance. More importantly, he did do things differently towards the end of the season that showed he was learning. He almost admitted as much. I have faith in him as a coach. I said it before the season. I had a few moments of doubt mid-term, but I believe he will lead the Irish back to glory. I really look forward to next year.

    7. Just wanted to say it’s been a pleasure to watch someone so gifted in the position for which he plays. He is gifted with so much talent to show, still improving to be so much better than what he is now and that shows the passion he has to be the very best. With that said, ND should be elited to have him back for his senior season, hopefully one to remember with us heading to a BCS game. Thanks Mike for that decision you made, one that will benefit you for your life ahead and also in the NFL next year. GO IRISH !!!

    8. Save a spot for his picture forever displayed inside Notre Dame Stadium. All American. Heisman. Sky’s the limit !!!

      GO IRISH !!!!

    9. Whiskeyjack says:

      Let’s pray whatever QB ends up starting next year actually steps up and gives Mike a chance at the Heisman. It’ll break my heart if Floyd limps into the 2012 draft after another statistically mediocre season due to a lack of production from our QBs.

    10. Don Sullivan '64 says:

      As a University of Georgia season ticket holder I can say that, until his collarbone injury, Michael Floyd was a mirror image of AJ Green. They are remarkably similar in personality, work ethic and talent. Aj moved ahead while Michael recovered from his injury. I am convinced that they would be the best at their position next year if AJ had stayed for his senior year. I was fortunate to have watched two of the best (I record all ND games) receivers in the country over the past couple of years. AJ is gone and we will never know his true collegiate best but how lucky we all are that Michael stayed for his senior year. I really look forward to seeing him in 2011…the sky’s the limit for him!

    11. Praise be Michael….ol #3 be torchin’ the secondary in’11.
      Keep’em taped & your powder dry !! You’re gonna bring it.

    12. Scranton Dave says:

      First I would like to say that I am thrilled that Floyd is coming back, and the 4 game winning streak that we closed the year with has me very excited. There is a lot of returning talent and I cant wait to see them play next year.

      However, those of you that think Rees is the answer at QB, I just dont know what you are looking at. I know he was the QB during the 4 game winning streak but that streak had way more to do with defense than anything else. In fact, Rees almost single handedly lost the USC game. I really like Crist, and I love what I hear about this Hendrix kid. Hopefully Kelly wont just give it to Rees because he was 4-0 as a starter. He needs to give it to who gives them the best chance to win.

    13. Richard Riva says:

      I think I like tom rees better than crist
      rees seemed more composed in the pocket
      and better with kelly’s offensive style

      GO IRISH!!!!!!

    14. Richard Riva says:

      MICHAEL FLOYD IS A BEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    15. Doc Possum says:

      What a model for incoming receivers! Go Irish!

    16. notredave says:

      I want the season to start NOW!!!

      Go Irish!!

    17. Avon Domer says:

      I’m not only looking forward to seeing Floyd play next year for the plays he will make, but also for the attention he will take away from the rest of the receiving corps, which should help ND out immensely. GO IRISH!

    18. Atlantadomer says:

      Great decision by a great young man.

      Scranton Dave – I hear you on Rees, but I also remember people saying the same kinds of things about a couple of QB’s you may or may not recognize – Phil Simms, Bernie Kosar (that is who this kid really reminds me of), Joe Hamilton (that guy had it cooking at Tech at one time), Jay Barker, not particularly gifted with an arm or legs. Not physically imposing. But he just wins, and wins and wins.

      It was easy to see out of Crist and Rees who had the better handle on the offense and what was the correct read during a given situation. That’s a no brainer.

      Crist would have to prove during Spring that he could add that 4th dimension of a running QB to the offensive mix to get back on the field in my opinion. And I’m not even certain given his injury that he would be able to do that. Face it, Rees “Wally Pipped” Crist – who is a great kid and pro-prospect.

      If I were Crist’s father I would say two words to him. Brad Johnson. Does anyone else remember who he backed up at Florida State??? Charlie Ward. Then he went on to the NFL and won a SuperBowl.

      • Floyd is a gentleman and a scholar. Watching him play is a treat.
        As for QB, I look forward to seeing ND return to depth at the QB position. Watching an Ara (sic) of QB development is generally just painful cf. the regimes of Powlus and Clausen. Far better to plug them in when they are ready and let them burn bright cf. Kevin McDougal. I hope I need see little of Hendrix until he can drink — legally. Rees –> no interceptions –> Sun Bowl –> he’s smart, I warrant you.

    19. Bob Lawrence says:

      Believe neither Crist nor Rees will be the QB next year–Hendricks or the new kid coming in. Need a QB who can run as well as pass-gives a 12th man on the field.

    20. Rees has the MOJO baby! Rees – Floyd combo will be fun to watch…AGAIN! GO IRISH!!!

    21. Atlantadomer says:

      Bob – I really hope not. I remember what it looked like in 2007 with a trio of true freshmen QB’s against GA Tech. What is Demetrius Jones up to these days, anyway.

    22. ND needs another Hesiman trophy winner and Floyd has the talent and now the opportunity. BK will work out the QB position which will allow him to install a more diverse/aggressive ofense. The 2011 offense was obviously limited by injuries and inexperience with the spread ofense. Assuming the coaching staff is as good as projected, we should have a top ten team in 2012 with Floyd in the Heisman finals.

      Go Irish!

    23. Let’s hope and pray that MIke Floyd stays healthy, and that the QB situation resolves positively. Then, Notre Dame will have an outstanding season 2011. Crist impressed me with the cited “deer in the headlights” look all the time…that is, sort of tentative.

    24. Kevin Simpson says:

      The Irish looked like a completely diffrent team and it does not surprize me that they already ranked going into 2011. I know its early but college football is a year around machine . Coach Kelly is one of a few coaches who could have turned this ship around. I feel much more confident watching a game now than I have been in a long time. The team plays with purpose and Coach kelly has the tools to put us in the championchip game as early as next year. When Mike Floyd made the right call to come back, a message was sent to the college football world that we are back. I love the Irish, but most important I love College football and Im telling you the Irish will be a tough out each week. Just think about the star power we were lacking down the stretch ,any other team would have folded. Watch the Opener vs South Florida and tell me what you think. The Irish have been down too long, its not a birthright that Notre Dame be great its just time. The defense will be lights out and Im truly excited to see what the offense will bring. Tommy Rees has that thing that I can not put my finger on, as much as I like Dane and thinks he could get the job done I do not see a situation where Tommy Rees loses his job. He is only a soph and will be better prepared in the role as a starter. Its going to be interesting but no matter who wins the job ND nation will support him all the way to the title game. GO Irish.

    25. Thrilled that Floyd will be returning to the Dome, as far as QB goes, It’s Rees all the way. Crist has no arm, can’t tell you how many times he throws SHORT, even when he throws straight out to wideout at the line of scrimmage, he has thrown short too many times to recall. Crist is smart and has that over Rees, but Rees kept getting better as the season progressed, and he has a good arm. Kelly made a lot bad decisions early on, but turned it around and the defense is the best I can recall in many a year. As we say around my house, there’s only 2 seasons: “Notre Dame Football Season” and “Waiting for Notre Dame Football Season”.

    26. Scranton Dave says:

      Maclen- You think Rees has a better arm than Crist? I think thats the one thing that even the biggest Rees supporters cant argue. Remember the Crist to Rudolph 95 yard TD in the Michigan game? Rees couldnt even dream of making that throw. ESPN has everybody brainwashed into looking at W/L with QBs without looking at other factors. Crist wouldnt have lost any games either if the defense gave up 3 points in the games he started.

    27. Floyd’s the man. I actually think he’s the best WR in college football, and everybody would know that if he played for a better team or had a better QB.

      To that earlier poster, forget Crist, he’s not a gamer and he’s injury prone. After watching him shut down mentally against weak defenses, he earned himself a spot amongst a long line of ND choke artist QBs of the past 16 years. Hopefully Reese or the SC frosh will bring their A game in 2011. GO IRISH!

    28. connor sullivan says:

      everett golson will start as a true freshman next year…his ability to run and throw and his leadership skills are off the charts….crist injury was so severe most people dont know if he will be in game shape come this fall…and rees im not sold on at all but i think hes a good manager of the game.