In the Film Room

This is the best high school film I have ever seen. Not that Michael Floyd is the best player I have ever seen, but the quality of the film is amazing for high school. I think that speaks volumes about the type of program they have at Cretin-Durham Prep. Now, lets move on to Michael Floyd the football player.

Physical Attributes
There were quite a few things that caught my eye when I first began watching the film on Michael Floyd. Michael has very good size, has long arms, and is a long-strider.

Technique
You can also tell he is coached very well. As a junior in high school Floyd already lines up with better technique than the current receivers at Notre Dame. He has a good lean, wastes little motion at the snap, and fires off the line of scrimmage. Michael also has been coached up well as a route runner. His route running technique is quite good for a high school junior. He will, at times, tend to lean back a bit at the top of his route which prevents him from really exploding out of the break. It also causes him to take an additional step or two to get in and out of his break. More often than not he is fine, but in college this will be a "tell" for defenders, and will give them an opportunity to better break on his route.

There are two things I'd really like to see Floyd improve on. The first is how he runs short routes. I'm not talking about the crossing routes here, for that is something different entirely. But quite often when Michael is running something short like a slant, hitch, or a quick in he won't come off the ball the same way he does on his deep routes. He tends to stay high, shortens his stride, and doesn't come off fast. Against good college defenders this could cause problems. It will allow a bigger or faster corner to really read the route and jump it. I'm not sure what the Notre Dame coaches teach, but with the exception of quick screens or crossers, I always taught my receivers to start off every route like you were running a go. You want to get the defender on his heels and out of his pedal as soon as possible. The second area of improvement is how he handles press and squat cornerbacks. Michael doesn't do a great job of using his hands. He usually just runs past a guy or puts a really nice move on them. These are good, and will be used in college, but against a good or physical cornerback he'll have to learn to use his hands much better.

All I have accessible at this time are highlight clips on Floyd. I do not have any game film at this time, so I was not able to watch him block. I can't offer any praise or criticism of his abilities as a blocker.

Athletic Ability

Michael isn't a burner, so for the Notre Dame fans wanting a sub-4.4 guy, this doesn't appear to be your man. But Floyd brings a world of ability to the game and is a big-play receiver. The first few plays I watched my initial impression was that he wasn't real smooth. He tends to flail a bit with his arms, which makes him look herky-jerky, but then you watch his lower body and you realize he is a very smooth football player. He is able to cut quickly, and for such a longer player is quite good at changing direction. He doesn't lose any speed as he weaves in and out of traffic. You'll also see Michael see a crease and explode through it, even if that crease isn't in the same direction that he is presently running. That is one area where his big-play ability will come from.

As with most great athletes, Floyd possesses outstanding balance. He also has good power which is a great combination. You'll see Floyd run through tacklers, bounce off tacklers, and squirt through a crease that you didn't think he could get through. The top prospect also has very good hands. He snatches the ball out of the air. Not only is this good technique, but this also shows he is hungry for the football when it's in the air. Guys like this are usually a quarterback's best friend on third down and in the red zone. He'll juggle the ball at times, but this doesn't seem to be an issue with his hands, but rather him being ahead of himself and thinking about the end-zone and not first securing the catch.

Speaking of the end-zone, one thing I love about Floyd is he honestly seems to try to score a touchdown every time he touches the football. Some receivers make the catch and if they have a crease will go for the score but they are more focused on first downs, getting a couple extra yards, and then going down. There is nothing wrong with that, just ask Marvin Harrison. But that isn't Michael's style, and I love that about him. He has tremendous vision and field awareness. You watch him with the ball in his hands and as I mentioned before he'll explode through a hole you didn't think he would see, or make a move on a defender you that you didn't think he could see. In the red zone Floyd seems to really have a natural feel for where he is.

I briefly mentioned it earlier, but St. Paul, Minn. native is pretty physical with the ball in his hands. He doesn't shy away from contact and makes quite a few catches over the middle and in traffic. I saw him make a couple of catches on deep in routes where he did a great job of exploding up to a high throw with no regard for what was coming, and there were defenders coming at him. What he'll learn at some point is to shield himself a bit as he goes for catches over the middle. You can go up for a ball aggressively in traffic and still somewhat shield yourself from a rib shot. If he doesn't learn it by the time he gets to college I'm pretty sure he'll learn it during camp.

Overview
There are bigger and faster receivers in this year's class. But Michael possesses as much talent and natural receiving abilities as any player in this class. I'm not saying he is the best wide receiver in this class, but I am saying he is among that group of players and can make a case for that title. There isn't anything Floyd can't do on the football field. He can catch a pass on a crossing route and take it to the house. He can blow past a cornerback on a go route. He will go over the middle and make the tough catch. He can twist and turn cornerbacks on intermediate routes and get open. He has the ability to make a play on the fade route, which as we have seen at Notre Dame the last two years is a throw Coach Weis likes. There are technique issues Floyd has, but there really isn't anything he can't do on the football field.

The great thing about Michael is he is a different player than the two receivers the Irish signed in the previous class. Michael, Duval Kamara, and Golden Tate are really three completely different players. They would form a tremendous compliment and give whoever wins the quarterback battle at Notre Dame potentially as good of a receiving corps as there is in the country.

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