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Clausen and Floyd reunite for Pro Day

Apr 2, 2012, 2:32 PM EDT

Floyd running

As dozens of NFL scouts descend on South Bend to get a look at former Irish wide receiver Michael Floyd, a familiar wingman will be uniting for a one-day performance that’ll hopefully lift both players’ stock. Jimmy Clausen, three-year Irish starter, now relegated to playing the role of Cam Newton’s backup, will head back to Notre Dame, where he’ll throw passes to Floyd in his individual workout.

Together, Clausen and Floyd made a wonderful duo, teaming for 16 touchdown passes in Floyd’s first two injury-shortened seasons under head coach Charlie Weis. The pairing made Floyd one of the most dangerous receivers in college football, with the underclassmen averaging a gaudy 16.5 yards per catch over his first two seasons in South Bend, a deep strike threat that never returned after Clausen left after his junior season and Brian Kelly’s spread offense struggled to find a triggerman.

For Floyd, Tuesday’s workout will be another data-point for teams looking to take a wide receiver in the first round of the upcoming NFL Draft. Having answered any questions about his speed after clocking two sub-4.5 forty-yard dashes at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis, Floyd will likely run a variety of routes, displaying the hands, route-running and explosiveness that has him challenging Justin Blackmon as the draft’s No. 1 wide receiver.

The return to South Bend also helps Clausen, who has become a forgotten man in Carolina after Cam Newton burst on the scene in a record-setting rookie season. Just two years after being taken in the second round, Clausen could use this workout as a way to get in front of NFL scouts, reminding them that there’s potentially some good football still to be played if Clausen is cut loose after his contract numbers kick up and Carolina cuts him.

Eight other departing seniors will participate in the Notre Dame Pro Day, with Harrison Smith the next in line to come off the board. Smith is battling to be the top safety picked and likely will be taken in the first two rounds of the draft. Robert Blanton will look to improve his 40-time after impressing in other drills at the combine while fellow cornerback Gary Gray will also test for NFL teams. Linemen Taylor Dever and Trevor Robinson will work out as well, with Robinson getting his first chance to impress NFL teams after missing out on an invitation to Indianapolis. Darius Fleming will hopefully displaying enough positional versatility — working out at both inside and outside linebacker, and defensive end — to get a team to gamble a late-round pick on a good athlete that’ll contribute on special teams. David Ruffer, who needs to bounce back after a sub-par senior season, will also kick for teams. Jonas Gray will also be an intriguing prospect for teams, with the breakout senior proving to teams that his injured knee is healed. Senior defensive end Ethan Johnson, who had the potential to chase a professional career, will not workout, choosing to retire from football after four seasons with the Irish.

  1. dickasman - Apr 2, 2012 at 2:40 PM

    Im surprised that bill bigbellychick didn’t scoop up clausen yet for the patriots instead chose the potsmoker ryan leaf jr.

    I think jimbobs would do well in right situation. It certainly isn’t in carolina.

    • bernhtp - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:23 PM

      Ryan Leaf has been arrested twice in the last week. He’s not playing unless the penitentiary has a team. http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/football/ryan-leaf-arrested-a-time-montana-nfl-quarterback-faces-drug-robbery-charges-article-1.1054497

      • schuey73 - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:56 PM

        He still has a publicist? (scratching head)

      • pacific123ocean - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        I think you missed the joke. He was calling Ryan Mallet, the potsmoker Ryan Leaf jr.

  2. dickasman - Apr 2, 2012 at 2:41 PM

    Floyd to Chicago Bearssss, let’s goooooooooooo!!!!!! If not, I’ll take Stephen Hill.

  3. andy44teg - Apr 2, 2012 at 3:06 PM

    Too bad we didn’t see 4 years of these two guys playing together. Would’ve had a 10-11 win 2010 season, and Clausen pry would’ve been a top 10 pick last year. Floyd’s draft status pry would’ve improved for this year as well. I love playing the “what-if” game…..

    • bernhtp - Apr 2, 2012 at 4:16 PM

      2010 would have been a nice offensive year with Clausen, Floyd, Tate, Rudolph, Eifert …

      • jerseyshorendfan1 - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:10 PM

        Yeah imagine that lineup. Pure firepower.

  4. domer77blowsgoats - Apr 2, 2012 at 5:17 PM

    It is really too bad all of those guys left early when CW was ousted – Clausen by far would have benefited the most – and now he’s just the latest of over-hyped ND QBs not to make any noise in the pros….

    Best of luck to MF – while he was a beast and set every record possible – I don’t think he will be missed as much as people think – we are starting to see (hopefully) the difference between landing one or two random studs every few years vs. stockpiling talent!

    Now just need that plug-n-play QB(s) ala BK in Cincy and we will be scary good

    • nudeman - Apr 3, 2012 at 10:46 AM

      THIS COMMENT HAS BEEN DELETED. IT ADDS NOTHING TO THIS BOARD AND IS IN VIOLATION OF THE NEW GUIDELINES.

      • domer77blowsgoats - Apr 3, 2012 at 11:22 AM

        THIS HAS BEEN DELETED NOT BECAUSE OF ANYTHING WRONG BUT BECAUSE IT WAS A RESPONSE TO SOMETHING THAT WAS DELETED.

      • nudeman - Apr 3, 2012 at 12:43 PM

        THIS IS ALL DELETED EXCEPT FOR THIS PART:

        So I’ll make you a deal; extend an olive branch.
        1) You keep the talk football related and leave the insults behind, and …
        2) … I will limit my posting and not beat a dead horse on ANY subject.

        I do reserve the right, as does everyone here, to be critical of a player, coach, etc. If some RB rushes for 9 yards in a game and fumbles 3 times, I think it’s fair to say “maybe they should get him out of there”.

        NOTE FROM KEITH: YOU DON’T NEED TO RESERVE ANY RIGHT. THAT RIGHT HAS NEVER BEEN CHALLENGED. JUST DON’T CONTINUE TO SAY THINGS IN VIOLATION OF THE BOARD RULES. NOT THAT HARD!

  5. jomilly - Apr 3, 2012 at 8:34 AM

    I think this says a lot about what MF thinks of TR’s throwing ability.

    • chicagoirish23 - Apr 3, 2012 at 12:39 PM

      Actually, this says nothing about what MF thinks of TR’s throwing ability. NCAA rules forbid TR from throwing in a pro-day event. I think all this really mentions is the respect/friendship that Clausen and Floyd have for each other.

  6. fnc111 - Apr 3, 2012 at 3:16 PM

    I think Evan Sharpley wanted to get the shot at impressing some pro scouts but I guess he will be sticking to independent minor league baseball now that Clausen will be doing MF’s pro day.

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