Michael Floyd Has the Potential to Grow from Suspension at Notre Dame

Jim SheridanCorrespondent IJune 15, 2011

SOUTH BEND, IN - OCTOBER 30: Michael Floyd #3 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish looks to block against the Tulsa Golden Hurricane at Notre Dame Stadium on October 30, 2010 in South Bend, Indiana. Tulsa defeated Notre Dame 28-27. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Last week Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly announced in a statement that senior receiver Michael Floyd would be permitted to participate in voluntary workouts. 

Kelly said, "Michael has made steady progress towards modifying his behavior and he may participate in the voluntary workouts being conducted by his teammates as well as the summer strength and conditioning program, if he so chooses.

"However, Michael still has steps to take before he can be considered for reinstatement to our football team. If he meets the conditions I have outlined to him and he demonstrates improved decision-making skills, Michael will have the opportunity to rejoin the team for practices and games this fall. If he doesn’t meet every criteria given to him, Michael will not play for Notre Dame in 2011.”  

Floyd, who was suspended indefinitely in March after being charged with drunk driving, is expected to appear in court later this month to accept a plea.

What can Floyd's teammates and Irish fans expect if Floyd is fully reinstated to resume football activities? Expect an even better Michael Floyd than you have been used to in the past. If Floyd is participating in the behavioral modification programs that have been laid out before him—and one must figure that he has, or Kelly would not have granted him a partial pass—plan on witnessing a new and improved Michael Floyd.

Between the courts and Coach Kelly, although no programs that Floyd has been required to participate in have been made public, he is most certainly going through a stringent series of, for lack of a better word, hurdles.

For Floyd to make it this far, he has had to clear mountains of debris out of his path without adding to the pile. This in itself shows that Floyd took his punishment to heart.

Leadership from Floyd has never been questioned—he has been a leader on the offense since his sophomore season—but look for a more intense, more focused Floyd this season.

When Kelly questioned Floyd's work ethic early in his tenure, it was actually a motivational tool. At season's end, Kelly stated that Floyd was one of the hardest-working players that he had ever been associated with.

So we have established that Michael Floyd has displayed leadership qualities and has an excellent work ethic, but upon his return for his senior season Floyd will be on a mission. First, he will be out to prove to himself that he made the right choice by returning to Notre Dame for his senior season; second, he will be in a position to show his teammates and coaching staff that bringing him back was in the best interest of everyone involved.

If Floyd is involved in the programs that usually go hand in hand with the situation that he is in right now, he will come back with a clearer head and a renewed desire to succeed. Floyd will return as a better student, a better teammate and an all-around better person.

As a 40-1 favorite to win the Heisman Trophy this season, it seems that the oddsmakers also feel that Floyd will bounce back. Bouncing back on the field is fine, but on the playing field of life I have Mike as a 2-1 favorite to succeed.