Irish WR Floyd’s ‘making good progress; Kelly’s ‘very optimistic right now’


When last we heard from Notre Dame’s Michael Floyd, the All-American candidate at wide receiver was being permitted to join his teammates for summer workouts even as he’s yet to be fully reinstated to the football program.

Prior to that, head coach Brian Kelly had made it perfectly clear that Floyd will either play all 12 games in 2011 or none at all, meaning there would be no one- or two-game suspensions for the receiver.

Tuesday, Kelly reiterated that stance, that Floyd would either be a member of the program for the entire season or not at all.  However, the coach also sounded more optimistic than ever that Floyd is doing all of the right things that will allow him to return for the season.

“He makes one mistake, in terms of how he handles himself, he doesn’t play here ever.  There is no suspension, there is no sit for one game. He’s got to live his life the right way,” Kelly, as relayed by the Chicago Tribune prior to an event benefiting the awareness and prevention of breast cancer, said before turning into a glass-is-damn-near-full kinda coach.

“If he does that — and all the signs point toward he’s moving in that direction — then I expect him to play every game. That’s why I’ve been optimistic. …

“He’s still actively involved in doing the things he needs to take care of. He’s finishing up some community service work, he just turned that in. He’s got some work to do on some other personal issues. But he’s making good progress. I’m very optimistic right now.

“When I talk to Mike, I get a good read. when you look somebody in the eye and you feel like you’re getting the right vibes from him – that’s how I feel about him right now. But he’s still got a ways to go and his status won’t change until we get to the school year.”

Floyd was arrested on a drunk-driving charge in the middle of March, his third alcohol-related incident since coming to South Bend.  He was suspended indefinitely shortly after the arrest became public knowledge, and has been gradually working his way out of Kelly’s doghouse ever since.

WVU RB Donaldson in concussion protocol, out for Baylor game

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MORGANTOWN, W.Va. (AP) West Virginia running back CJ Donaldson is in concussion protocol and will miss next week’s home game with Baylor after he was injured in a loss to Texas, coach Neal Brown said Tuesday.

Donaldson remained on the ground after he was tackled on a short gain in the third quarter of Saturday’s 38-20 loss to the Longhorns. His helmet and shoulder pads were removed and he was carted off the field on a stretcher. After the game he was cleared to travel home with the team.

“He’s recovering,” Brown said. “There is a strict return-to-play (policy) that we have to follow here and I’m zero involved in it. All I do is ask the question. They don’t even start the return-to-play until they’re symptom free.”

Donaldson, a 240-pound freshman, leads the Mountaineers with 389 rushing yards and six touchdowns, with an average of 6.9 yards per carry.

West Virginia (2-3, 0-2 Big 12 Conference) is idle this week and hosts Baylor (3-2, 1-1) next Thursday, Oct. 13.

Taulia Tagovailoa says he visited brother, Tua, over weekend

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa was able to visit his brother, Tua, last weekend after the Terrapins’ game against Michigan State, he said Tuesday in his first comments to reporters since Tua left the Miami Dolphins’ game against Cincinnati last Thursday with a frightening head injury.

Taulia played in Maryland’s win over Michigan State on Saturday but was not made available to the media afterward. He said Tuesday he was able to go to Florida and spend some time with his brother, who suffered a concussion four days after taking a hit in another game but was cleared to return.

“He’s doing good, everything’s fine,” he said. “My biggest thing was just seeing him and spending as much time as I can with him. I came back Sunday night.”

Tagovailoa said he appreciates the support for his brother.

“My brother’s my heart. He’s someone I look up to, someone I talk to every day,” he said. “It was just a hard scene for me to see that.”

Tagovailoa said he was in constant contact with his mother about his brother’s situation, and he was finally able to talk to Tua on Friday night.

“I really just wanted to go there and just spend time with my family, hug them and stuff like that,” Taulia Tagovailoa said. “But he told me he’s a big fan of us, and he’d rather watch me play on Saturday. … After that phone call, I was happy and getting back to my normal routine.”

Tagovailoa indicated that his brother’s injury didn’t make him too nervous about his own health when he took the field again.

“I guess when that happens to someone like my brother, or when anything happens to one of my family members, I don’t really think of how it will be able to affect me,” he said. “I just think of: `Is he OK? How’s he doing?”‘

Although it was a short visit to Florida, he said he and Tua made the most of their chance to be together.

“I just wanted to make sure he’s healthy and stuff, which he is,” Taulia Tagovailoa said.