February 3, 2011

Super Sleeper: Conner Floyd

Austin (TX) Lake Travis wide receiver Conner Floyd was the first Tulsa football recruit to fax in his letter of intent on National Signing Day. After his junior season, he was receiving interest from several BCS programs, but an injury in the first game of his senior year caused him to fall off the radar.

Luckily for Floyd, he already had a handful offers in hand and had committed to Tulsa just before his season started.

"It was a combination of things," the 6-foot-1 and 197-pounder told InsideTulsaSports.com in July. "I really liked the campus, and the football facilities were really nice. All the coaches treated me great and showed a lot of respect for me."

Another reason he chose Tulsa was offensive coordinator Chad Morris, who had coached Floyd the previous two years at Lake Travis.

"I have a great relationship with Coach Chad Morris, which was a big part of my decision," he said in July. "It just felt right and felt like it was the place for me."

But after the 2010 college football season, Morris left for Clemson. Then, Todd Graham and a handful of assistants left Tulsa for Pitt. But Floyd stayed true to the school that stuck with him after he broke his leg in Lake Travis' opening game of the 2010 season.

Floyd then made an official visit to Tulsa on January 21 to meet the new Golden Hurricane coaching staff.

"It was awesome. I had a ton of fun," he said. "Marcus Pate was my host, and I've known him forever. He made it a lot of fun and introduced me to all the players. We toured the whole campus, ate a ton, and just hung out with everybody.

"(The coaches) are great guys, and I loved all of them. I know the team and them are going to get along just fine. They really know what they're talking about when it comes to football."

Floyd was able to spend time with TU wide receivers coach and offensive coordinator Greg Peterson.

"I spent a lot of time with him, and he's awesome," he added. "We get along great, and I bet all the other receivers love him."

Before his injury, Floyd was well on his way to being a highly-rated prospect. As a sophomore, he pulled in 41 receptions for 735 yards and eight scores. Lake Travis was 16-0 and ranked No. 2 in the nation by USA Today.

"I rely on my route running ability, my hands and my quickness," he explained.

Then as a junior, he posted 69 catches for 1,312 yards and 13 touchdowns. His team once again finished 16-0, ranked No. 2 nationally by Rivals.com.

Floyd was receiving heavy interest from Texas Tech, Colorado and Vanderbilt, and he was named MVP at the Texas 7-on-7 state championship last summer, which impressed Rivals.com national recruiting analyst Barton Simmons.

"Floyd was a consistent pass-catcher all weekend long, showing great hands and consistency as well as a knack at getting behind the defense on a regular basis," said Simmons.

Floyd's leg injury made most programs back off their pursuit, and missing the majority of the season kept him as a 2-star prospect. Otherwise, BCS programs likely would have tried to get him to switch his commitment after Tulsa's coaching changes.

Floyd put in many hours of rehabilitation and hard work with the hope of hitting the field at least one more time in his high school career, and he got the chance due to Lake Travis making the playoffs and eventually winning another state championship.

"I got to play in the last four games, and it was great," he said. "I was just glad to get back out there and finish the season."

In the five games he played as a senior, Floyd caught 10 passes for 131 yards and a touchdown. Now he is focused on preparing for his time at Tulsa.

"I'm just excited to get up there," he said. "I'll probably go up for spring practice and just chill out."

Last night, Floyd helped Team USA defeat the World Team in an All-Star game played in Texas. He was the leading receiver for Team USA with three catches for 36 yards.

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