Michael Floyd, Notre Dame's leading receiver this past season and one of the top pass catchers in school history, has decided to return to the Fighting Irish for his senior season instead of declaring for the NFL draft.
Floyd announced his decision Wednesday.
The 6-foot-3, 227-pound Floyd enters his final year at Notre
Dame with the most touchdown receptions (28), second-most
receptions (171) and third-most receiving yards (2,539) in school
Earlier, Notre Dame tight end Kyle Rudolph announced he would
skip his senior season and enter the draft.
In a release from the school, Floyd called the decision one of
the toughest he ever had to make because it had been a lifelong
goal to play in the NFL.
He said he was coming back for three reasons: to earn a degree,
return Notre Dame to the top of college football and improve as a
player and become the nation's top receiver in 2011.
Floyd's projected draft position was debatable and the league
has an unclear labor future. But he also risks injury by returning
for another season of college ball. He caught two TD passes in the
Sun Bowl to help Notre Dame beat Miami and finish coach Brian
Kelly's first season at 8-5.
Floyd has started 29 of the 30 games he played for the Irish. He
missed a game against Navy this season with a sore hamstring.
Only Jeff Samardzija (179) has recorded more receptions than
Floyd and only Golden Tate (2,707) and Samardzija (2,593) have
totaled more career receiving yards than Floyd.
Samardzija is a pitcher in the Chicago Cubs' organization and
Tate left early a year ago to go to the NFL and was a second-round
pick of the Seattle Seahawks.
Floyd has 13 games in his career with at least 100 receiving
yards and his 84.6 receiving yards per game is the best career
average of any Notre Dame player.
"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," Kelly said in a release. "I would have
supported Michael's decision either way, but obviously I am
thrilled he will be part of our team in 2011."
This past season Floyd led the Irish with 79 receptions for
1,025 yards and 12 TDs, while playing with two different
quarterbacks, Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees.