Michael Floyd is headed to the desert. The Arizona Cardinals selected the Notre Dame wide receiver with the 13th overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft Thursday night in New York City.
“I was excited when I got the call," Floyd explained. "I saw the 602 number coming in. I wanted to jump for joy, but I kept it calm.”
Floyd will lineup opposite Larry Fitzgerald, a player he's idolized over the years. Both grew up in Minnesota and have developed a relationship over the years.
“It’s exciting just knowing that he’s on the opposite side of me, one of the best receivers in the game," Floyd said. "It’s a good learning experience for me to know that when I get down there I’ll be able to learn from one of the best.”
Floyd is the highest drafted Notre Dame player since defensive tackle Bryant Young went 7th overall to the 49ers in 1994. The last Irish player selected in the 1st round was Brady Quinn in 2007. The last Irish wide receiver selected in the 1st round was Tim Brown in 1988.
“I could not be happier for Michael and his family,” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said. “I’ve said many times I have never coached a person as talented as Michael, and his selection tonight shows that. Michael’s work ethic and passion for football are unparalleled and fans of the Cardinals will love the productivity he’ll bring to Arizona’s offense.”
The most prolific wide receiver in Notre Dame history, Floyd owns five career receiving records, ranks in the top 10 on 11 single-season receiving lists and is in the top 10 on nine single-game lists. He is the Notre Dame career record holder for receptions (271), receiving yards (2,686), receiving touchdowns (37), average yards receiving per game (85.7) and games with at least 100 receiving yards (17).
He started 41 of 43 career games played. He did not start his first game as a freshman, but then started the next 41 games in which he appeared. Floyd registered at least one reception in 42 of 43 games played. The only game he failed to make a reception was against Navy in 2008 when he was injured early in the first quarter and missed the remainder of the contest.
Floyd missed only one game in his final two seasons and started 24 of 25 games played. He totaled 179 receptions for 2,172 yards and 21 receiving TDs.
Floyd elected to return for his senior season last January, only to be arrested for DUI two months later. After being stripped of being a team captain and suspended from the program, Floyd returned to the Irish more mature and better than ever.
“I just basically told them it was a bad decision," Floyd said of the conversation he had with the Cardinals about his past mistakes. "I learned from it and I moved on. I know I can’t be like every other college student, just doing what a college student does, because the spotlight is on me. They wanted to see if I had improvements since that time, and I have. I’ve moved on.”
The star from Minneapolis, caught 100 passes during his senior campaign for 1,147 yards and nine touchdowns. He also rushed for a touchdown.
He was the 2nd wide receiver taken in the 2012 Draft. Justin Blackmon went 5th overall to Jacksonville.