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Floyd, Eifert named Biletnikoff, Mackey semifinalists

Nov 14, 2011, 4:05 PM EDT

Floyd Navy

Both Michael Floyd and Tyler Eifert have been named semifinalists for positional awards, with Floyd among ten semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award and Eifert among eight for the Mackey Award.

In alphabetical order, here are the ten semifinalists for the Biletnikoff Award, given annually to the nation’s top college receiver:

Keenan Allen, Cal
Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State
Patrick Edwards, Houston
Michael Floyd, Notre Dame
A.J. Jenkins, Illinois
Sammy Watkins, Clemson
Jordan White, Western Michigan
Robert Woods, USC
Kendall Wright, Baylor

Floyd hasn’t put up the kind of monster stats that some of these guys have, but that he’s a semifinalist goes to show you what else he puts into the game, and how well regarded he is as a weapon nationally. Golden Tate won the Biletnikoff Award in 2009 after a monster season and Oklahoma State’s Blackmon is the reigning winner.

Meanwhile, Eifert is putting up numbers that have him every bit in the mix for the Mackey Award, reminding Irish fans just how good they’ve had it at tight end the last few years. The junior has 51 catches for 589 yards and 5 touchdowns on the season and is among eight semifinalists for the award to the nation’s top tight end.

Dwayne Allen, Clemson
Orson Charles, Georgia
Drake Dunsmore, Northwestern
Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame
Coby Fleener, Stanford
Ladarius Green, Louisiana-Lafayette
Jacob Pedersen, Wisconsin
Nick Provo, Syracuse

Eifert leads the group in catches and yards, so you’ve got to think he’s a frontrunner for the award, crazy when you consider where he was just last year. Filing in for an injured Kyle Rudolph, Eifert was the “next man in,” and he opened the year as a real wildcard after missing his first season with a major back injury. That he’s now an early flight risk to the NFL says a ton about his development and the work he’s put in.


Not to be completely out done, Tommy Rees and David Ruffer were named the offensive and special teams independent players of the week for their work against Maryland last weekend.

Here’s what the NCAA’s website had to say about the two:

Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees

A sophomore from Lake Forest, Ill., Rees set a season high for pass completions in leading Notre Dame to a 45-21 win over Maryland on a neutral field in Landover, Md.   Rees completed 30-of-38 pass attempts for 296 yards and two touchdowns, his 18th and 19th passing TDs on the season.   Rees’ 19 touchdown passes move him into a tie for fifth place on the Fighting Irish single-season list, while his 31 career TD passes are tied for sixth place on Notre Dame’s career scoring toss tally.
Notre Dame PK David Ruffer

A fifth-year senior from Oakton, Va., Ruffer’s career-long 52-yard field goal was among the highlights in Notre Dame’s 45-21 win over Maryland at FedEx Field in Landover, Md.  Ruffer’s personal record-setter gives him three career field goals of 50 yards or longer, making him only the second Irish kicker with three or more FGs of at least 50 yards.  Ruffer has now connected on five consecutive three-point attempts; against the Terrapins, he was also a perfect 6-for-6 on PATs.

  1. dickasman - Nov 14, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    Welcome to the Chicago Bears Mikey Floydddd!!!

    • danno27 - Nov 14, 2011 at 7:50 PM

      Bears: wide receivers = cancer: healthy cells

      • danno27 - Nov 14, 2011 at 8:03 PM

        That may have been a little over the line. How about this one: Chicago Bears: wide receivers = Darth Vader: incompetent underlings.

  2. domer77blowsgoats - Nov 14, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    What no Rees for the Davey O’Brien Award? 10-2 as a starter!

  3. danno27 - Nov 14, 2011 at 7:48 PM

    KA (or anyone else who has the time and interest), you should look into how many third down conversion catches Eifert has this year. A bold prediction: Eifert has more third down conversion catches than everyone else on the team combined. In other words, he’s money.

  4. ndfanwabashman - Nov 14, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    It’s going to be tough to beat Blackmon for the Biletnikoff. However, with a big performance against Stanford I wouldn’t rule it out.

    I think Eifert is good enough to go pro now but I just don’t see it happening. *crosses-fingers*

  5. NDfan1224 - Nov 14, 2011 at 8:43 PM

    Both Floyd and Blackmon are monsters! Eifert best TE in the country speed+hands+good blocking= $$$

    • dmacirish - Nov 15, 2011 at 1:04 PM

      I think you are right about Eifert and feel as though the same could be said about Floyd. There is a lot that the cameras dont catch on runs or quick out passes where Floyd is blocking and creating open space. This all goes into account when a pro team is watching. Wish them the best but winning the awards wont do much for them in a few years – the reasons they are nominated for the awards will.

  6. NotreDan - Nov 14, 2011 at 8:45 PM

    Good for both of them.

    Without being condescending at all, I gotta say I am SO proud of Mike Floyd. That kid could have given up and been a mess. BK did a great job with him too. The final chapter isn’t written, but the Floyd book sure looks good so far. Great job Mike.

    • jerseyshorendfan1 - Nov 14, 2011 at 11:54 PM

      Couldn’t agree more as to Floyd. That situation could have gone either way, particularly with lesser men on either side of the equation. Hats off to Floyd for taking the high road and hats off to Kelly for giving him the opportunity to get on it.

      As for Rees being named Offensive Player of the week, some on this board find his play offensive every week. Lets watch him finish off the year with a couple of wins against BC and Stanford and next year we’ll see how the QB thing shakes out.

  7. prophetjcb - Nov 15, 2011 at 7:17 AM

    Floyd and Eifert being up for these awards won’t surprise most who frequent this site; I think Eifert should win the Mackey, and although Floyd will get beat for this award, he’s definitely an NFL receiver.

    But what I hope all you Dayne Crist fans noticed in this article are the stats Tommy Rees is piling up. How about the fact that his 19 TD’s this year has him ranked fifth for an Irish single season, or that his 31 TD’s already rank him 6th at Notre Dame all-time? Of course, some will credit BK’s system or question the value of statistics, but let’s not forget his most important stat of all… 10-2 as a starter.

    Can we just put the Dayne Crist argument to rest once and for all please? Not only do the coaches see them compete every day (and I think they want to win as bad as we do), but Rees has now compiled impressive statistics, we know he wins games which Dayne does not… and yes, he avoids those game-changing, weekend-ruining, season-wrecking turnovers that Dayne seems unable to avoid.

    I am a long way from thinking Tommy Rees will start the rest of his career, and look forward to seeing how Hendrix and Golson compete next year. Rees isn’t a run threat and isn’t exactly a prototype for Kelly’s system. But he is without question the guy who gives the team the best chance to win right now, and he deserves the support of every ND fan until someone can beat him out.

    • NotreDan - Nov 15, 2011 at 9:36 AM

      @prophet good level headed post about the qb’s and I completely agree re: Crist.

    • notredamegrad - Nov 15, 2011 at 9:51 AM

      Every Irish fan wants Tommy Rees to play outstanding football over the next three games. No question – he should be supported, and is. He’s put up some very impressive numbers. He’s played some very good games; he’s also played some mediocre games and some poor ones, like any QB (including committing several of those “game-changing” turnovers that you attribute only to Crist here). Kelly’s found ways to work the offense around his shortcomings and rely on the running game and the short passing game, and that’s something to be very happy about.

      The reason it’s difficult to just “put the Dayne Crist argument to rest,” much as we’d all like to, is because it really isn’t about the numbers at all. Tommy Rees now has almost twice as much game experience as Dayne ever had, and they were statistically neck-and-neck in their first 8 games of playing time (Dayne’s only 8 games); you could break all the numbers down in more sophisticated ways to get a better picture of how they match up and their relative strengths and weaknesses, but that is not at all what’s spurring the ongoing discussion.

      What sustains it is the sense among many fans that Dayne has been treated unjustly through this whole thing. That’s enough. The sense subsides when QB play is really strong; it surfaces when it’s weak. But it isn’t about Tommy. It’s about fairness. And it can’t be easily dismissed as a delusion of fans who don’t know anything because they aren’t at practice day in and day out. It’s been publicly acknowledged that some of the players (seniors, starters) feel like Dayne has been treated unfairly, and they’re at practice and in the locker room, too.

      I look forward to seeing how Hendrix and Golson compete next year, like you, and am rooting for Tommy week in and week out. Absolutely. I’m also rooting for Dayne. Go Irish.

  8. fitz79 - Nov 15, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Check it out recruits. You can come to Notre Dame and even if we don’t have our best season of all time you’ll still always get the national exposure needed to win major individual awards!

  9. urfinished - Nov 15, 2011 at 1:05 PM

    Nice honor but you could hand that to Blackmon now

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