Last night after the hectic National Signing Day activities, I had the opportunity to speak with departing senior wide receiver Michael Floyd---owner of nearly the entire Notre Dame record book at his position.
Floyd is in Indianapolis this week doing some athletic testing for Gatorade as he prepares for the NFL combine and Notre Dame Pro Day.
While taking some time off from this testing, he was nice enough to sit down and answer some of my questions.
Here's a recap of our chat...
How are you doing Michael, it's Eric Murtaugh from One Foot Down.
Hey Eric, how are you doing?
I'm good, thanks for taking the time to do the interview, I appreciate it.
Let's start out with what you've been up to this week in Indianapolis. Can you tell us what you're doing with the Gatorade Sports Science Institute today?
You know what I'm doing is they're putting me through various different tests, with various different athletes around the country, and different kind of sports. It's just putting me through tests to see exactly where I am, what I need help on, and what I can improve on. They give you the results of what you've been tested on, and then give you recommendations on making you a better athlete, and how to perform better.
Have you learned anything from the testing today?
Yeah, the most important thing that I learned was that everyone sees Gatorade as a hydrating kind of brand, and they really push making sure you stay hydrated. What they taught me today and at the end of the results---they made it a big deal and made it the most important thing---nutrition. How big [nutrition] it is for athletes to eat well and put the right kind of things into their body to make them perform or peak at the right level during their performance.
Will you be staying in Indianapolis for the Super Bowl?
I could if I wanted to, but I chose to go back to California and train.
Well let's talk a little bit about the training. I'm assuming that's what you've been doing since the Champs Sports Bowl?
Yes, I've been training out in Irvine, California with Athletes First and about 15 other players from around the country.
Are there any other Notre Dame players there training with you?
Harrison Smith is there and he's signed with my agency, which is Athletes First.
Are you fully healthy now?
Yeah, I'm 100% for the most part.
While you're training is there anything specific that you're focusing on? Are you working primarily on speed or a little bit of everything?
For the most part, you can put it all together. I'm working on strength, conditioning, speed, and agility.
Is there a big emphasis on your 40-yard dash? Is there a target area for that which you're working on?
You know I'm just trying to do the best that I can---that's all you can ask for. And I'm making sure that I train to be the best. Hopefully I can put up a good number.
Let's look forward a little bit. How excited are you to be drafted and play in the NFL?
I'm really excited. It's a dream come true to play in the NFL. You know, it's a great opportunity for me and it's a great position to be in. I'm very glad for all of the help from everyone----family, close friends to help me get to this point. I couldn't thank them any more.
Are there any other NFL receivers, or other players in general, that you look up to? Are there any players that you try to emulate?
Well I try to look back at the Cris Carter times, Michael Irvin, Jerry Rice, Tim Brown. And right now, Larry Fitzgerald, Calvin Johnson, Andre Johnson. I try and take bits and pieces of each one of their games because they're all different in some ways, and I just try to make sure that I get the most information I can out of the best guys that have played the game.
You'll be at the NFL combine, correct?
And you'll also be doing the Notre Dame Pro Day?
Just a few questions about Notre Dame. Is there one play or game that stands out in your mind from your time at Notre Dame?
Well, not just being able to play in the game, but just being able to beat USC. That was a big thing for me. I've always wanted to do that, I've always wanted to play against the best competition.
The other thing I wanted to ask is about the receiving corps next year for Notre Dame. Do you think they'll be able to step up in your absence, and also do you think there might be one receiver who will have a breakout season?
I have a lot of faith in those guys. I think they can get the job done. I don't really know the guys coming in or if they can contribute quickly, but I know the guys that are there now, and I know that they are hard working guys, and that they're goal is to win every single game. Guys you'll have to keep an eye on into the season is T.J. Jones and Robby Toma. I think the players that might shock some people are fifth year senior John Goodman and Daniel Smith.
Let's talk about the secondary for a minute. You know we're losing a few players there---is there any corner or safety that maybe most fans don't really know about that might have a breakout season---I know you've talked pretty highly about Jalen Brown.
Yeah, you know Jalen has the opportunity to step in there and be a contributor to the Notre Dame football team. You know I think he's a great guy and he's someone who listens and takes coaching very well. He's been doing a good job. Also, a guy to look for, actually two guys that are going to hold down the defense for the most part are Zeke Motta and Jamoris Slaughter. I think they are great individuals and great athletes, and players who can get the defense right.
Who would you say is the best player you faced in college?
Oh, I don't know, I never really got any 1-on-1 coverage. But I would say when I was a freshman Morgan Trent from Michigan. I mean he was one of the biggest guys that I faced and me being a freshman I thought he was gigantic. So I would say him.
All of our writers love when you're smiling and having a good time on the field and it seems like you're trash talking a lot---is that a part of the game that you enjoy? Do you like mixing it up out there on the field?
I mean I don't really trash talk, I'm not that kind of type. It depends on who I'm going against exactly and if all they do is talk, then all I do is laugh at them and play the game, and do what I gotta do to win the 1-on-1 battle.
Here's another interesting question: Do you not wear a mouthguard when you play?
I wear a mouthguard. It's just a really small one.
Do you have a specific routine that you follow before games?
Just hanging around the hotel and listening to slow jam music---that's what I listen to.
I know you're pretty busy with training, and most fans know you on the football field, but what do you like to do with your down time and what kind of hobbies do you have?
I like to go to the movies, go shopping for clothes, but I'm not too big on video games. I like going bowling and just being active---it doesn't really matter what I do.
Well, I just wanted to say that we're really proud of you and we wish you the best in the NFL and in your future.
Thank you very much, I appreciate that Eric.
Fans can watch the rookies testing, chat live and catch the behind-the-scenes from the Super Bowl by going to Gatorade's Facebook page and clicking on G360.
A special thanks to Gatorade and Adam Woullard for making this interview possible.