Floyd to team with Fitzgerald

Arizona made Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd the first Notre Dame player to be selected in the NFL Draft's opening round since Cleveland selected quarterback Brady Quinn at No. 22 overall in 2007. Floyd joins one of the NFL's best at the position, perennial All Pro Larry Fitzgerald.

Michael Floyd's first reception as a collegian was a leaping 22-yard touchdown grab vs. San Diego State – Notre Dame's first score of the 2008 season. The former Scout.com 5-star prospect finished his career the same, wrestling a poorly thrown football from the clutches of a Florida State defensive back for another Irish score.

In between Floyd's first and last catch were 36 more touchdowns, 269 more receptions, and better than, 3,660 receiving yards – all Notre Dame records.

Tonight that production, coupled with a 6'3" 225-pound frame and blistering 4.47 40-yard dash time was enough for the Arizona Cardinals to select Floyd with the 13th pick of the 2012 NCAA Draft.

Floyd was the second receiver selected; Oklahoma State All-America Justin Blackmon, who was picked fifth by the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Floyd's selection is the highest for a Notre Dame player since Aaron Taylor was drafted 16th in 1994. (Taylor was the second Notre Dame player selected in that draft. Defensive tackle Bryant Young was tabbed 7th by the San Francisco 49ers who won the Super Bowl the ensuing season.)

Floyd is the program's first wide receiver to be selected in the *first round since Heisman Trophy winner Tim Brown in 1988.

(*Note: 1990 Heisman runner-up Raghib Ismail was slated to be the 1991 draft's first overall selection but he chose to sign with the Toronto Argonauts of the Canadian Football league prior to the '91 NFL Draft.)

Floyd is just the third Notre Dame player selected in the first round over the last decade, joining center Jeff Faine (21st in 2003) and quarterback Brady Quinn (22nd in 2007). He is the first WR, TE, or running back to earn a first-round tab since running back Jerome Bettis was picked No. 10 in 1993.

The former Cretin Durham Hall (St. Paul, MN) star is the second member of the recruiting class of 2008, Scout.com's No. 2 ranked overall, to be drafted. Tight end Kyle Rudolph left school early and was selected by the Minnesota Vikings in the second round last spring.

Floyd and the Irish finished with 29 wins and 22 defeats during his tenure in South Bend. The record-setting receiver played in 43 of those 51 potential games, posting a 25-18 record with Floyd in uniform. Floyd did not miss a game in his senior season after sitting out two in 2008, five in 2009, and one in 2010, all due to injury.

Floyd's Notre Dame Records

Floyd set the program's single season receptions record last fall, his 100 grabs besting the mark of 97 set by Golden Tate in 2009.

Receptions: 271 (1st)
Receiving Yards: 3,686 (1st)
Touchdown Receptions: 37 (1st). Floyd also received credit for a rushing score in 2011 on a pass thrown behind the line of scrimmage, giving him 38 touchdowns, good for third all-time at the program.
100-yard Games: 19 (1st)

Note: The last time Notre Dame had two players selected in the first round was 1994 when defensive tackle Bryant Young (No. 7, SF); offensive guard and Lombardi Award winner Aaron Taylor (No. 16, GB); and free safety Jeff Burris (No. 27, Buffalo), each earned first round nods. 5th-year senior safety Harrison Smith is expected to be selected either late in the first round tonight, or early in the second round Friday evening.

IrishIllustrated.com Top Stories