I hear from a lot of Notre Dame bashers and other critics who think I have an honorary degree from Notre Dame. The latest is from the reader who claims wide receiver Michael Floyd of St. Paul, Minn., one of Notre Dame's prize recruits in the class of 2008, is "the most overhyped player in recent Minnesota high school history."
Well, I'm not going to defend Floyd. I don't have to. Just listen to what college coaches have to say about him, the ones who offered him scholarships. And listen to the media in Minnesota, which named Floyd as the state's Player of the Year as a junior and senior.
Last week, when Floyd's Cretin-Derham team lost to Eden Prairie 50-21 in the Class 5A championship game, Floyd caught three passes for 86 yards while being triple and double teamed. The winning coach, the son of former Minnesota Vikings coach Bud Grant, said afterward: "We knew if we shut down Floyd, we could win the game."
One of the pass defenders who helped to shut down Floyd was Ryan Grant, the coach's son and Bud Grant's grandson, who is committed to Minnesota.
For the year, Floyd caught 56 passes for 1,211 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also rushed for 433 yards and returned four punts for touchdowns.
Coaches in Minnesota say Floyd is the closest thing they have seen to Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. I rated him as the No. 3 wide receiver in the country. He is 6-3 and weighs 210 pounds and probably will do for Notre Dame what Regus Benn is doing for Illinois, though he isn't as fast but is just as physical, similar to Fitzgerald.
This is a perfect example of why I choose not to respond to critics. They usually have their own agenda. They don't like Notre Dame or Michigan or Ohio State or Lemming.
I recall when I named Maurice Clarett as the Player of the Year. He gained only 35 yards in one game and the critics began to howl. Then he ran for 400 yards in his next game. Critics tend to pick out one game, one play, one incident, and beat it to death. I recall when Jim Brown was limited to 30 yards in a game against the Lions and some people said he was overrated.
Floyd was selected as a two-time Player of the Year in Minnesota by the St. Paul Pioneer-Press. The state's high school coaches also picked him. Let's see how he performs at Notre Dame. He chose Notre Dame over Ohio State. But he also had offers from USC, Michigan, Tennessee, Florida, Oklahoma, Iowa, Nebraska and just about every major program. Overhyped? Overrated? I don't think so.