Another Cretin-Derham Hall alumnus enters the national sports spotlight

Slideshow: Michael Floyd on and off the field

The University of Notre Dame doesn’t allow its freshman football players to do media interviews, but that hasn’t been a problem for St. Paul’s Michael Floyd.

The wide receiver truly is letting his on-field actions speak louder than his words, already setting school records after only eight games.

A USA Today first-team All-American football player, Floyd graduated from St. Paul’s Cretin-Derham Hall High School last spring.

Two weeks later, he headed off to South Bend, Ind., on scholarship to join one of college football’s most prestigious programs. Arguably, no other college football program has the storied history of Notre Dame: Knute Rockne, The Four Horsemen, The Gipper, “Rudy” and seven Heisman Trophy winners.

Floyd is the latest Cretin-Derham Hall graduate to emerge on the national sports scene. The school’s high-profile athletic alumni include the likes of baseball’s Paul Molitor and Joe Mauer and such football stars as the Vikings’ Matt Birk, Heisman Trophy winner Chris Weinke and former NFL quarterback Steve Walsh.

Floyd, who will turn 19 later this month, hasn’t let the high expectations faze him. Last Saturday, the 6-3, 215-pound receiver caught two touchdown passes in the Fighting Irish’s 36-33 four-overtime loss to the Pitt Panthers. This Saturday, the team takes on Boston College.

Last week’s catches put him first in Notre Dame stats history in receptions and touchdown receptions by a freshman in a season.

Not only did Floyd become the first Irish freshman to register a TD catch in a season opener (against San Diego State on Sept. 6), he’s the fourth Notre Dame freshman in the last 20 years to score a touchdown on his first career catch. The others were Raghib “Rocket” Ismail and Derek Brown in 1988 and Derrick Mayes in 1992.

“We’ve exposed him to a lot,” says Notre Dame Head Coach Charlie Weis. “Now it’s not perfect. But I’m telling you what — he plays a lot closer to a veteran than he does a young guy.”

Weis praises Cretin Derham Hall as “a really good program [and] very good passing offense … We have a lot of respect for them … we recruit a whole bunch of kids from there.”

Floyd is wearing the school’s number of royalty, No. 3, worn by Notre Dame quarterback legend Joe Montana, who guided the Irish to a national championship title in 1977 and then won multiple Super Bowl titles as the leader of the San Francisco 49ers.

“He’s very level-headed. He’s a great kid. I mean, it’s tough not to like this kid,” Weis says of Floyd. “You know he’ll never act like a prima donna, no chip on his shoulder. I’ve been very impressed.”

While keeping his coach happy is one part of his life, Floyd’s managing to keep his other critics — his parents — happy by keeping up in the classroom.

In Notre Dame’s summer school program, he took two classes, calculus and composition, and managed the adjustment to college academics just fine.

“This is a great opportunity for Michael,” said Mike Floyd Sr., referring to the school’s top-flight academic reputation.

Vince Muzik is a Twin Cities freelance multimedia producer.


Slideshow: Michael Floyd on and off the field

No comments yet

Leave a Reply