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News on Floyd’s future expected soon

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Among the many interesting notes during Brian Kelly’s media session this morning, none will be dissected like his comments about the future of Michael Floyd. The star Irish receiver, who was named co-captain of the Irish for the 2011 season, has been suspended indefinitely by the football program after being arrested for drunk driving on March 20th.

When the decision was made, Kelly released the following statement:

“Football needs to take a backseat at the moment while Michael gets his life in order. And while I don’t know when Michael will be reinstated, it will not happen until Michael demonstrates he has successfully modified his behavior and the legal and university disciplinary matters have run their respective courses. What’s most important right now is Michael is focusing on maturing and developing more as a person while working to improve his decision-making process.”

Today, Kelly shed some more light on the process, and he expects to learn more about Floyd’s future in the very near future.

“What I heard was that he would be meeting with Residential Life this week,” Kelly said. “And that some kind of decision relative to that meeting would be very soon after.”

If you were curious as to whether or not this decision has been in the hands of the head football coach, it’s clear that he’s done exactly what he’s said he’d do — wait for the process to play out.

“They have not told me directly nor have I called them to ask,” Kelly said. “I’m getting my information second-hand. I know that Michael is scheduled to meet with them and they have informed him that a decision would be made quickly.

According to sources close to the wide receiver, Floyd has already met with ResLife and feels like he represented himself well in the meeting. While there have been rumors of Michael exploring the NFL’s supplemental draft and even the CFL, he expressed his desire to complete both his collegiate football career as well as his degree at Notre Dame, something reassuring for both fans and the football staff at Notre Dame.

More importantly, it seems as if Floyd’s already started the process of getting “his life in order,” something Kelly stressed from the get-go.

“He’s already taken definitive action,” Kelly said today. “I’m not going to get into his personal life, but I think you can read between the lines. He’s already reached out to make that happen in a very positive way. So he understands he needs to be educated. And he’s started that process.”

While Kelly wouldn’t speak entirely to the disciplinary process that’ll go on with Michael after his round with ResLife, it wasn’t hard to reach the conclusion that he’d welcome back his star receiver if he continues down this path.

“Look, I’m a teacher and an educator. From my perspective, I’m always thinking about educational opportunities, so I always think in those terms,” Kelly said. “My first reaction is always about how can we learn. But that’s me. I’m not in that office.”

The person who is in that office is Father Tom Doyle, the Vice President of Student Affairs. His move to the department of ResLife marked a noticeable change in an office known for its draconian process. Under Doyle, the process seems to have changed, and the precedent set in the handling of tight end Mike Ragone’s ticketing for marijuana possession last spring means that Floyd’s disciplining won’t be as cut and dry as many that have taken to quoting the bylaws of DuLac should expect.

Either way, it sounds as if Floyd’s exile from the team — however long is ends up being — will be determined before spring practice ends.

Kizer named MVP at annual ECHOES awards

echoes
@NDFootball Twitter
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DeShone Kizer was named the Monogram Club’s Most Valuable Player for the 2016 season at the 96th annual Notre Dame football awards banquet. Kizer was voted team MVP by his teammates, after throwing for 2,925 yards and 26 touchdowns and rushing for 472 yards and eight scores.

He was one of 15 players honored with an award at the “ECHOES,” with the following accolades being given:

Equanimeous St. Brown, Offensive Player of the Year.
James Onwualu, Defensive Player of the Year
Greer Martini, Next Man In award
Drue Tranquill, Rockne Student-Athlete Award
Cole Luke, Nick Pietrosante Award
Isaac Rochell, Lineman of the Year
Quenton Nelson, Offensive Lineman of the Year
Scott Daly, Special Teams Player of the Year
Alex Bars, Newcomer of the Year, Offense
Nyles Morgan, Newcomer of the Year, Defense
Ben Stuttman, Scout Team Player of the Year, Offense
Jonathan Jones, Scout Team Player of the Year, Defense
Mark Harrell, Father Lange Iron Cross
Tyler Newsome, Irish Around the Bend

 

 

Notre Dame names 7 captains for 2017 team

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 17: Quenton Nelson #56 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish celebrates after a 10-yard touchdown reception by Corey Robinson against the USC Trojans in the fourth quarter of the game at Notre Dame Stadium on October 17, 2015 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
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Notre Dame named seven captains for the 2017 season, the most to wear the ‘C’ in school history. Quarterback DeShone Kizer, linebackers Greer Martini and Nyles Morgan, offensive linemen Mike McGlinchey and Quenton Nelson, safety Drue Tranquill and walk-on receiver Austin Webster were all given the honor.

McGlinchey returns in the role, the 22nd different two-time captain in the program’s history. New to the job are the rest, including Kizer, who has yet to make a decision on if he’ll return for 2017 yet.

After worries about the team’s leadership heading into the 2016, the naming of captains in the immediate aftermath of the season is a change—Brian Kelly not naming his team’s official leaders into August training camp last year. It’s not an unprecedented move for Kelly (he named Harrison Smith and Michael Floyd team captains at the banquet following the 2010 season), though it points to some changes—some subtle, others not—that’ll likely take hold after a four-loss season.

Webster, a rising senior reserve wide receiver from California who has yet to register a stat in a Notre Dame uniform, made his debut as a sophomore in 2015 against UMass, is the first active walk-on to receive the honor.

 

Irish land blue-chip OL Aaron Banks

aaron-banks
Tom Loy, Irish 247
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Notre Dame received the commitment of 4-star offensive tackle Aaron Banks on Friday afternoon. Picking the Irish over a national offer list that included Michigan, Tennessee, and local programs USC and UCLA, the 6-foot-7, 335-pound Banks reminded all that even if the Irish only won four games this season, Harry Hiestand is still one of the premier offensive line coaches in the country.

Banks made the commitment from a ceremony at his high school in El Cerrito, California. And when he picked the Irish, he added to Notre Dame’s impressive offensive line haul, joining Dillan Gibbons, Joshua Lugg and Robert Hainsey — a key piece of the puzzle moving forward.

Banks is a consensus 4-star recruit and a Top 200 prospect. He took an official visit to Michigan in November, but has been a long-time target of Hiestand’s, visiting South Bend in September and welcoming Brian Kelly and Hiestand into his home after the USC game.

As a big recruiting weekend gets started at Notre Dame, the annual Echoes Awards will serve as the beginning of an important home stretch for a program without a bowl game. As Kelly still looks to lock in a defensive coordinator, not to mention other staff changes still in the air, Banks takes back some of the lost momentum, a key commitment heading into a holiday dead period before a furious finish leading into the first Wednesday in February.

Banks is No. 18 in the Irish recruiting class. He’s an early-enrollee, ready to hit campus within weeks and compete on the interior of the offensive line during spring ball.

Zaire says thank you to Notre Dame

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA - SEPTEMBER 12: Quarterback Malik Zaire #8 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish rushes past defensive end Mike Moore #32 of the Virginia Cavaliers in the third quarter at Scott Stadium on September 12, 2015 in Charlottesville, Virginia. The Notre Dame Fighting Irish won, 34-27. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
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Big week for The Observer. Not just for its advertising revenues, but for the classy gesture that outgoing senior quarterback Malik Zaire made this week.

Thursday’s edition included a letter to the editor from Zaire, who took to the student newspaper not to make headlines around the internet, but rather to thank the university for his experience in South Bend.

While Zaire’s time at Notre Dame is drawing to a close, he will leave as a proud alum. So while he’ll play football next season at another university, Zaire wrote the following in Thursday’s issue:

Dear Notre Dame students and staff,

My life changed for the better the moment I stepped onto the University of Notre Dame’s beautiful campus. The one goal I had set in my mind to achieve was to become a better man, a Notre Dame man. After growing through many trials and triumphs, the thing I’ve learned most from my experience was that if you don’t believe in yourself first, then no one else will. I believed in becoming a better man and succeeding through any circumstance, and I can say that I’ve truly accomplished that. I often refer to the famous quote from the movie “Catch Me If You Can” that was well put by Frank Abagnale:

“Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse wouldn’t quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he churned that cream into butter and crawled out.”

I’ve put my heart, soul and passion into the University, the football program, the South Bend community and the Irish community worldwide. I have the unbelievable honor to represent this University to the fullest as a student and soon-to-be alumni. Thank you to the amazing students and staff that I’ve met through the years for helping me grow into the person I’ve always wanted to be. I love the Irish and will always be an Irish alum no matter where I go! I look forward to keeping in touch. Let’s change the world!

Go Irish!

Malik Zaire

Senior
Dec. 7

Zaire is expected to compete for a starting quarterback job next year as a graduate transfer. He’s reportedly taken a visit to Wisconsin and plans to visit North Carolina as well, just two of several programs on the radar as Zaire looks to step in and win a starting Power 5 job.