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2011 in 100 words… Michael Floyd

May 16, 2011, 12:27 PM EDT

Michael Floyd 3

The twelfth and final preview analyzing a dozen players essential to the Irish making a BCS run next season. For the complete series, check the previews of Braxston Cave, Sean Cwynar, Jonas Gray, Trevor Robinson, Robert Blanton, Theo Riddick, Steve Filer, Kapron Lewis-Moore, Tyler Eifert, Ben Turk and Zack Martin.

Player Overview:

When Michael Floyd shocked Irish fans and decided to return for his senior season at Notre Dame, his production in 2011 was all but a given. After a slow start to his junior season, where defenses and individual inconsistency tamped down Floyd’s numbers, the Irish star finished the season with a bang –big efforts in wins over USC and Miami seemed like a perfect final act.

But Floyd’s decision to return in 2011 was thrown into limbo with a drunk-driving arrest and an indefinite suspension the weekend before spring practice was set to start. The co-captain of the 2011 team was erased from the roster, missed all of spring practice, was held out of team activities and conditioning, and faces plenty of uncertainty heading into 2011.

There’s no question that the Irish offense needs Floyd at receiver to be at its best. Whether No. 3 will do what’s needed to earn the right to be back on the field likely will determine how good this Irish football team can be.

2010 Season:

Floyd led the team in yards from scrimmage and touchdowns, but saw his per-catch average drop five yards from his sophomore campaign, a product of a new offensive system and two quarterbacks learning on the job.

It took until the third week of the season for Floyd to get into the endzone, the longest season-opening drought of his career. It took longer for head coach Brian Kelly and Dayne Crist to find Floyd on big plays, with the Irish failing to get the ball to Floyd down the field on vertical patterns.

After a break-out game against Western Michigan that started with an 80-yard touchdown reception, Michael battled hamstring injuries, missing the Navy game because of injury. After Tommy Rees took over the offense when Dayne Crist got hurt and the Irish relied more on a running attack, Floyd started to become the safety valve to the passing offense, finishing the season with 11 catches against USC, essentially driving the offense through the air, and vertically abusing Miami in the Sun Bowl, his two touchdown catches coming early in the Irish’s demolition of the Hurricanes.

100 word preview for Michael Floyd in 2011:

A season that should’ve cemented Michael Floyd’s place in Notre Dame history now might not even exist. Ever since Floyd’s drunk-driving arrest put his Irish career in limbo, headlines about the Irish’s leading receiver have been about his bad decision-making skills, not about the noble decision to return for his degree and final season in blue and gold. With Floyd on the field, the Irish have one of college football’s premiere weapons. Without him, they’ll look to Theo Riddick and a cast of characters to catch passes. Floyd’s been given the chance to make good. Now it’s up to him.

Importance in 2011:

Utmost. Kelly and company spent most of the spring talking up guys like Deion Walker and John Goodman, but neither can do what Floyd can for this offense. While one player is rarely the difference in a team game like football, you can make a pretty good argument that No. 3 is the exception to the rule.

  1. scardino - May 16, 2011 at 1:49 PM

    I hope Floyd is able to lay off the bottle, lower his head, and put his strength and determination into bettering himself like we know he can. Hopefully he shows Brian Kelly things that he can not help but put on the field. Hopefully we see those things on the field and this all reveals itself to be a learning experience for Floyd.

    Without Floyd, though, I can not help but believe that this team would still do very well.

  2. piratey - May 16, 2011 at 1:55 PM

    Rumor has it, Brian Kelly is going to reinstate MMF for the summer. I’ve also heard he’s spending the summer with Davaris Daniels to mentor him in the ways of receiving. Exciting stuff.

  3. oldestguard - May 16, 2011 at 2:46 PM

    …spending it in South Bend or with the Daniels Family ?

    Is Crist part of the package ?

    • piratey - May 17, 2011 at 9:27 AM

      With the Daniels Family

  4. 1historian - May 16, 2011 at 5:22 PM

    I disagree that without Floyd the Irish are toast. The measure of a coach is what he does with what he’s got and to me Kelly has proven more than once that he and ND will do just fine. Maybe we won’t see as many points on the board but we will WIN FOOTBALL GAMES one way or another.

  5. bernhtp - May 16, 2011 at 11:20 PM

    My bet is that MMF understands the situation and really gets his act together for a steller season and beyond. While I agree that the team can be good without him, it’s hard to overestimate the enormous impact he can have. He dramatically changes the complexion of the offense and where the opposing defense needs to put a lot of attention.

    • piratey - May 17, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      I’ve also read that he has been doing the school circuit, talking to 5th graders(i think that’s the grade) about staying active and being healthy.

      I think something lost in the Floyd equation is how important he is to the other receivers.Theo Riddick doesn’t have that monster game against Michigan State last year if Floyd wasn’t on the field. Watch that Kyle Rudolph 95yd TD against Michigan again, MMF had 5 guys surrounding him 10 yards up the field, 5 guys!

      Another thing of note is that in Floyd’s first two years he had Golden Tate roaming all over the field.(where didn’t he line up?) While I don’t think that Theo is going to have the hands that Golden had, I think you will see Theo really breaking out this year. His 2010 campaign reminded me a lot of Mardy Gilyard’s first season at Cincy. The talent is there, it’s an issue of learning the position and the routes.

      My best friend is a Bearcat fan so i ended up watching a lot of Bearcat games with BK at the helm. The makeup of this year’s squad offensively is VERY similar to Cincy’s 09 team. Pike=Crist(big arm, experienced yet injury prone), Collaros=Hendrix(North/South running QB with an arm), Pead=Wood(Shifty, quick RB), DJ Woods=Floyd(Tall, dominant receiver), Gilyard=Riddick(Speedy, possession receiver) I expect us to use more of the playbook offensively and Brian Kelly to be much more comfortable calling plays.

      • oldestguard - May 17, 2011 at 2:55 PM

        Good to see MF has taken to serving as a positive role model for young kids.

        While we all want to stay optimistic of our chances without a Michael Floyd in the offense, there’s noone who can doubt what his impact will mean to the team when he’s suited and healthy.

        I live 1 suburb over from the Daniels, so if Crist or Rees can’t make it up, I’ll throw some endzone fades myself to keep the guys sharpened up.

        BK has a master template….a successful one.

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