Floyd won’t enter draft

Published 2:18 am Thursday, January 13, 2011

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — 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 history.

Email newsletter signup

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.