In an announcement that shocked many Irish faithful today WR Michael Floyd declared his intent to return for his senior season at Notre Dame.
On the one hand, there was Notre Dame. This place has been an incredible home to me and the relationships I built here are ones I know I'll have for the rest of my life.
On the other hand, there was the NFL. It has always been a lifelong goal to play football at the highest level, and that is something I look forward to doing at some point. However, I'm pleased to say I will be returning to the University of Notre Dame for my senior season in 2011.
Clearly this is a young man with great perspective. He knows that a professional career in the NFL is on the near horizon, yet he is showing the restraint to tame the urge to leave before completing his education.
In fact, it is his education and his relationship with his mother, Theresa Romero, that played the most critical role in Michael's decision.
I'm returning to Notre Dame for three reasons: to earn my degree, return Notre Dame to the top and improve myself as a player. First, I promised my mom I would graduate from Notre Dame and I am 40 credit hours shy of attaining that goal. I chose to attend Notre Dame in part because I knew it was a 40-year decision and not a four-year decision. Graduating from Notre Dame will help me for the rest of my life. Second, I want to get Notre Dame back to a BCS game. I believe we are very close to returning the Irish to where we belong and I want to be part of something great. Lastly, I want to show everyone in the country that I'm the best wide receiver in college football in 2011. There are many things I need to improve, but I feel with the coaching I have at Notre Dame, I can become the best at my position in this game.
Floyd is 9 receptions shy of surpassing Jeff Samardzija's school record for career receptions of 179, and he already broke the school record for career receiving touchdowns (28) by catching two during the Irish rout of Miami in the Sun Bowl.
Samardzija and Golden Tate are the only Irish players ahead of Floyd in career receiving yards, but at just 169 yards short of breaking the record Floyd could very well become the career leader after next year's season opener against South Florida.
Make no mistake about it, Floyd will be an excellent NFL player one day. He will most likely represent the style of player that former Irish great Tim Brown became. Not a bad compliment for the Saint Paul, MN native.
We know for certain Floyd will achieve his academic goals upon his return for his senior year. Let's just hope he can also attain his BCS dreams.
If he does, it will likely be in direct correlation to realizing his final goal: showing everyone he is the best wide receiver in the country in college football.