Will a Healthy Michael Floyd Mean Another Biletnikoff for Notre Dame?
Many have yet to witness the damage that can be done to opponents' secondary by Michael Floyd.
When healthy, he was even thought higher than of last year's Biletnikoff Winner, Golden Tate. Although Tate's numbers were the most impressive, Irish fans knew they had a pure wide receiver waiting in the wings to be the top priority in South Bend.
The lesser version of Floyd, especially in the past two years due to injuries, could be found on the sidelines watching his offense struggle without him. Without the threat of the No. 2 Irish receiver, Jimmy Clausen had to look almost solely to Tate for big plays and touchdowns.
Before his injury in Notre Dame's week three matchup vs. Michigan State, Floyd was the nation's leader in almost every receiving statistical category. Through two and a half games, he had surpassed 350 yards through the air and hauled in five touchdowns.
After returning early from shoulder surgery, Floyd picked off where he left off, finishing the year with 795 receiving yards and nine touchdowns in just six and a half games. In addition, he averaged 18.1 yards per catch to rank among the top in the nation.
Now, with Tate leaving early and looking to be a future 1st-rounder, the spotlight will now be shining on his successor.
Under Brian Kelly's pass-happy offense, plenty of opportunities will be presented to new Irish No. 1. Not only will Floyd be targeted more that Tate is gone, but he will asked to do most of the damage in the red-zone alongside talented junior tight end, Kyle Rudolph.
Floyd's strength is not his speed, but rather his deceptive quickness, long strides, and ball skills. When going up for a ball, there is very few, if any, that can match-up with him in single coverage.
Top receivers like A.J. Green (Georgia) and Julio Jones (Alabama) both came in to their respected programs in the same class as Floyd, making up what some call the greatest wide receiver recruiting class in history.
Although it would be hard to debate who has the greatest talent and future in the NFL, Floyd looks to be the guy with the most impressive stats thus far in their careers. Thanks to Kelly, those numbers will undoubtedly inflate even more.
If he stays healthy throughout the year and excels in Kelly's newly-implemented offense, the Biletnikoff will be staying in South Bend for a second consecutive year.
And with the Biletnikoff comes an early graduation and another first-round draft pick coming out of Notre Dame.
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