In a press conference today in South Bend, Floyd announced his intentions to return for his senior season at Notre Dame. In a prepared statement Floyd declared, "I’m returning to Notre Dame for three reasons: to earn my degree, return Notre Dame to the top, and improve myself as a player."
The rest of his comments throughout the brief conference made crystal clear that his priorities are exactly in line with what Notre Dame preaches about its student-athletes.
First, he understands the value of his degree and what the doors it will open down the road. He promised his mother he'd graduate and he's fulfilling that promise. He reiterated a big reason why he chose Notre Dame in the first place was "because I knew it was a 40-year decision and not a four-year decision" and that "graduating from Notre Dame will help me for the rest of my life."
(If you really "get" what Notre Dame is about then you can't help but smile ear-to-ear when you hear him say that. This is why Notre Dame doesn't lower its standards to SEC levels in an attempt to compete. There are plenty of world-class, elite athletes out there that want to be a part of Notre Dame, it's the coaches job to go bring them to South Bend.)
Next, he puts Notre Dame before himself. He says he feels the Irish are close and that "he wants to be part of something great."
(How is that for an indication that the culture of Notre Dame Football is changing? He's not giving lip service, he's passing up hundreds of thousands of dollars to return to his team. This is a far cry from the atmosphere that Brian Kelly walked in to last December.)
Lastly, Floyd made a declaration that should send shivers down the spines of every defensive back on the 2011 Notre Dame schedule: "I want to show the country that I'm the best receiver in college football in 2011." He's committed to working his butt off to become the best receiver in the country and when you blend one of the most physically gifted and talented specimens in the sport with that drive only great things will happen.
(He's going to have to go to confession after what he does to Michigan's secondary. Call him Hand Banana...and for those that get that Aqua Teen reference, I nod in approval.)
The ceiling for the 2011 squad was immediately raised. No matter who emerges from the quarterback derby will have one of the best receivers in the country to reel in their throws.
Michael Floyd, thank you. Today was a terrible day at work and as I watched everything go wrong from the power shutting off in our building to contracts falling through to having to lug a security system down nine flights of stairs only to have the customer not even want to see it, I did it with a smile on my face because of your decision.
You're going to go down as the most prolific receiver in school history and shatter every record in the book. You deserve it all.
BRING ON SOUTH FLORIDA