El Paso, TX (UHND) – If yesterday’s Sun Bowl was the final game for Michael Floyd in a Notre Dame uniform, the junior wide receiver went out in style by breaking Jeff Samardzija’s school record for receiving touchdowns with his two score performance.
Floyd entered the Sun Bowl with 26 career receiving touchdowns – just one touchdown shy of Samardzija’s record. By the end of the first quarter, the record was Floyd’s after hauling in scores from 3 and 34 yards from freshman Tommy Rees. The Minnesota native could have added to that total in the second and third quarters, but he couldn’t come down with a pair of tough catches in the end zone.
By racking up 105 yards against the talented Miami secondary, Floyd notched his first career 1,000 yard season ending with 1,025 on 79 receptions – both career highs. Floyd’s 79 receptions are good enough for the second most single season receptions behind only Golden Tate’s 93 from last season. His 12 touchdowns are the second highest single season total as well. Golden Tate (2009), Rhema McKnight (2006), and Jeff Samardzija (2005) all recorded 15 touchdown seasons.
After the last three seasons, it should surprise no one to see Floyd’s name a top the Irish record books. From day one, Floyd had a nose for the end zone. In the 2008 season opener against San Diego State, Floyd’s first career catch went for six right at the end of the first half.
Three full seasons after that San Diego State game, Floyd has racked up 28 career receiving touchdowns in just 28 games. Had Floyd not missed significant stretches of playing time as both a freshman and sophomore due to injuries, his career totals would be even more impressive.
Floyd has several other Notre Dame records in his sights, but whether or not he reaches them will depend on whether or not he returns for his senior season. Even with a very deep wide receiver class in this year’s NFL Draft, many draft experts see Floyd leaving early just as Golden Tate did a year ago. Floyd has downplayed his looming decision, but now that the season is officially over for Notre Dame, his focus will shift to deciding on what to do with his future.
Regardless of whether or not Floyd leaves early, he will go down as one of the best wide receivers in school history. Over the course of his career, he also became one of the most well rounded receivers in school history by displaying excellent blocking and improved route running this season.
Should Floyd return, he is just 8 receptions away from tying Samardzija’s career mark of 179 and only 168 yards away from Tate’s career record of 2,707 yards – numbers he could reach in the first game with a big day.
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