Michael Floyd is a former NFL wide receiver, having spent parts of seven season with the Arizona Cardinals, New England Patriots, Minnesota Vikings, and Washington Commanders.
For Floyd, gridiron success began at a young age, back when he was dazzling spectators with jaw-dropping catches and maneuvering around opposing cornerbacks with ease.
As a teenager, Floyd never envisioned strapping on his pads for an NFL team, but there were other influential figures around him who saw his potential.
“My dad always talked about going to the NFL or playing professional sports, but when you’re a kid you never really think about it,” Floyd says.
By eighth grade, Floyd’s on-field heroics led to him forgoing public school in his hometown of St. Paul and enrolling at Cretin-Derham Hall, a private school that has molded a bevy of professional athletes, including baseball phenom Joe Mauer and hockey sensation Ryan McDonagh.
Floyd quickly thrived at Cretin-Derham Hall, putting up gaudy numbers on both the football field and basketball court.
Having averaged over 23 points per game as a senior and nearly broken the school record for all-time points, Floyd could have pursued a career on the hardwood, but the wideout insists that his love for football has always reigned supreme.
“I was a lot more confident playing football than basketball,” Floyd says.
“I actually wouldn’t call myself a good basketball player. I’m a good athlete, and that makes up for the basketball skills that I don’t have.”
Going into his senior year of high school, Floyd was ranked as the #3 wide receiver in the country, and he fielded scholarship offers from nearly every football powerhouse in the country.
Ultimately, Floyd signed a letter of intent with Notre Dame, and in the fall of 2008 he stepped foot onto the same campus where icons like Knute Rockne, Joe Montana, and Jerome Bettis once roamed.
As a member of the Fighting Irish, Floyd spent the next four years mesmerizing South Bend and the entire college football landscape, living up to the hype and breaking several Notre Dame receiving records, but those accolades might have never come had Floyd not been ready when his number was called.
“Going to Notre Dame was great. I loved it,” Floyd says with a smile, then remarking on a collegiate career that was ignited when his teammate got hurt during the first game of Floyd’s freshman campaign, thrusting him into a vital position just a few months after graduating high school.
“The next play I go in and I score a 60-yard touchdown on a go route. That’s what started everything, and my friend who got hurt had to switch positions from that day forward.”
While amassing 3,686 yards and 37 touchdowns for the Fighting Irish is certainly praiseworthy, Floyd is also quick to credit Jimmy Clausen and Golden Tate, two former Irish teammates who, in addition to earning NFL contracts, also played a crucial role in Floyd’s rapid ascension.
“To be able to have friends like them who motivated me and made me want to be the best football player I could be, I’d say those are pretty good friends to have,” Floyd mentions.
Following a loss to Florida State in the Champs Sports Bowl in late 2011, Floyd’s tenure as the preeminent wide receiver in college football came to an end, but it was then time to begin preparing for the next stage of his career, so he and a performance team trained vigorously ahead of the 2012 NFL Draft in hopes of showing scouts and general managers how much firepower Floyd could bring to an NFL football team.
That spring, despite all the hard work Floyd exhibited in the weight room and on the practice field, when draft day arrived on April 26th, even the normally stoic Floyd couldn’t help but be taken aback by the moment.
“That was probably the most nerves I have ever had,” Floyd says of draft night, a family affair that served as a reminder of just how far Floyd had come since betting on himself and enrolling at Cretin-Derham Hall.
“I remember having my suit coat on and sweat was collecting in my shirt and all the way down to my belt buckle. It was surreal, a one-time experience that I was lucky to have with the people who are closest to me.”
That night, the Arizona Cardinals selected Floyd at #13 overall, the plan being to pair him alongside superstar Larry Fitzgerald and give the Cardinals one of the NFL’s most potent wide receiving combos.
Under Fitzgerald’s tutelage, Floyd learned not only the finer points of route running, but Fitzgerald also imparted the importance of taking care of your body in order to ensure a long and healthy career on football’s biggest stage.
Fitzgerald even let the young Floyd live with him during his rookie season, an arrangement that lapsed the next season after Floyd jokingly began to refer to Fitzgerald as his dad.
From there, Floyd enjoyed a number of productive seasons in Arizona, highlighted by a 2013 run where Floyd eclipsed 1,000 yards and tallied five touchdowns.
A few years later, Floyd and the Cardinals parted ways, which led to the wideout going on to play under legendary Patriots coach Bill Belichick, and then coming home to compete as a member of the Minnesota Vikings.
It went fast, but by the end of his playing days, Floyd had enjoyed a seven-year NFL career that today gives him an immense amount of satisfaction.
“When I look back, I’m happy with what I accomplished,” Floyd says.
“But I’m also super excited for what’s next. The NFL was a great moment in my life, but I have so many more still to come.”
In 2021, Floyd accepted a position as a wide receivers coach at Concordia University in St. Paul.
The job gave him an opportunity to connect with the next generation of football players, and even though nearly all those players won’t go on to experience the rush of playing football for an NFL team, there was still so much to be gleaned from a seasoned vet like Floyd, who remains undecided on what he will do in 2022.
“There are other things that I want to get into. I’m still young, and my love for coaching is not there yet. It might be there down the road if I am a full-time coach, but right now my interests are elsewhere,” Floyd explains.
If Floyd doesn’t strap on a headset and coach in 2022, it’s likely he will then be investing a large portion of his time in the same community that years ago made him believe that his dreams weren’t too far away to grab.
“I have been blessed to make it as far as I did, so now it’s time to give back,” Floyd says.
“It wouldn’t be right to sit around and do whatever when there are kids out there who are potentially in the same position that I was fifteen years ago. Helping them and steering them in the right direction, that’s my calling.” QS
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