MINNEAPOLIS - The best prep football player in the state of Minnesota leaves his house at 6 a.m. every morning to stand on the corner and wait for the city bus to take him to school.
The state's hottest college prospect since Joe Mauer helps clean the football weight room, and his mother pulls shifts at the Xcel Energy Center as part of a program at Cretin-Derham Hall High School to help pay for the private school tuition.
It turns out that Raiders receiver Michael Floyd hardly lives the rock star life that many blue chip recruits experience these days.
"You have to do what you have to do," Floyd's mother, Theresa Romero, said. "It's not drawing blood."
Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders wide receiver Michael Floyd, who was named Player of the Year for Minnesota by The Associated Press for the second straight season, rushed against Brainerd Nov. 15 in the state tournament semifinals at the Metrodome. Brainerd Dispatch/ Clint Wood
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But it is paying off.
In the summer, Floyd will leave his home on St. Paul's East Side for South Bend, Ind., where he will play football for one of the most storied college programs in America - Notre Dame - and attend classes that would cost more than $47,000 a year if he didn't have a full athletic scholarship.
"I'm just amazed at all of this," Romero said.
Romero admits to being new to the world of athletic privilege, but she has gotten a fast education as her son has emerged as one of the nation's top prep receivers.
This season he had 48 catches for 1,011 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushed for another 417 yards to be named Player of the Year for Minnesota by The Associated Press, as voted on by a statewide panel of sportswriters and broadcasters who regularly cover high school football. He is the first two-time winner since Triton quarterback Kirk Midthun in 1994 and '95.
"It's oversimplifying it to say that he makes you a better coach," Cretin coach Mike Scanlan said. "We're able to do stuff with him that we're probably never going to be able to do again."
Joining Floyd on the first-team offense is quarterback Ryan Grant (Eden Prairie); running backs Mario Butler (Rochester Mayo), Jeremy Randle (DeLaSalle) and Matt Swenson (Eden Prairie); offensive linemen Devin Benjamin (DeLaSalle), Tom Ries (Eden Prairie), Roszelle Gayden (Robbinsdale Cooper), Joe Schafer (Cretin-Derham Hall), Joe Lund (Bloomington Kennedy); tight end Ra'Shede Hageman (Minneapolis Washburn) and receiver Elliott Herdina (Blooming Prairie).
The defense consists of linemen Willie Mobley (Eden Prairie), Brendan Kelley (Holy Angels), Kolby Gruhot (Stephen-Argyle) and Jason Engstrom (Coon Rapids); linebackers Sam Maresh (Champlin Park), Jake King (Totino-Grace), Brian Renkes (Hutchinson) and Jeff Schuette (Wayzata) and defensive backs Joe Loftus (Holy Angels), Kyle Melcher (Owatonna), Andy Joyce (Wayzata) and Cody Hendrickson (Cromwell).
Punter Erik Fabry (Eastview), kicker Charlie Klaverkamp (St. Cloud Tech) and return man Tony Theisen (Plainview-Elgin-Millville) round out the team.
Floyd was the unquestioned star, the guy University of Minnesota coach Tim Brewster set his sights on as soon as he was hired in January.
He lost the recruiting war to Charlie Weis and the Fighting Irish, and Scanlan said the Golden Domers will be getting a receiver with the physical skill set comparable to that of Hall of Famer Michael Irvin - a big, strong, workhorse with exceptional hands.
Area players receive honorable mention
Seven Brainerd area players received honorable mention on the Associated Press All-State Football Team.
Brainerd's representatives include quarterback Nate Schaefbauer, wide receiver Bronson Shepherd, offensive lineman Tom Lyscio, noseguard Laramie Lucas and linebackers Colby Ring and Mike Valesano.
Verndale was represented by halfback-linebacker Sam Moenkedick.
"He lifts weight like he's a lineman," Scanlan said. "Most skill guys, they don't like the weight room. But he understands that if he is going to play at the next level, he can't rely on his natural ability alone."
The difference between Irvin and Floyd, who was unavailable to comment for this story due to a meeting with Notre Dame officials, is the ego. Floyd hasn't let all the attention, and there has been an awful lot of it, change him, his mother said.
"Michael really is more embarrassed by all the attention," Romero said. "I think people think it's difficult for him to be level-headed. It's really not. He tells me that he's a man now. I tell him, 'I don't see any paycheck here yet. So you're still my son."'
Romero calls herself a "late bloomer" when it comes to sports, someone who may watch the last five minutes of the Super Bowl, but only for the commercials. Someone who was introduced to plenty of former star athletes on the college visits she attended with her son, but didn't recognize a one.
"I had no idea who they were if they thought they were impressing me," Romero says with a chuckle. "I only knew Robert Smith because he played for the Vikings and was a cute black dude."
Without those stars in her eyes, Romero has been able to keep Floyd's feet on the ground and focused on making the right college choice rather than being distracted by many of his privileged classmates at Cretin, a prestigious private school.
"You can be wealthy in other things," Romero said, "besides monetarily."
If Floyd keeps progressing like he has been, that kind of wealth will come soon enough.
2007 All-State Football Team
The 2007 Minnesota Associated Press All-State prep football team, as voted on by a statewide panel of sportswriters and broadcasters.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Michael Floyd, WR, Cretin-Derham Hall
QB - Ryan Grant, SR, Eden Prairie
RB - Mario Butler, SR, Rochester Mayo
RB - Jeremy Randle, SR, DeLaSalle
RB - Matt Swanson, SR, Eden Prairie
OL - Devin Benjamin, SR, DeLaSalle
OL - Tom Ries, SR, Eden Prairie
OL - Roszelle Gayden, SR, Robbinsdale Cooper
OL - Joe Schafer, SR, Cretin-Derham Hall
OL - Joe Lund, SR, Bloomington Kennedy
TE - Ra'Shede Hageman, JR, Minneapolis Washburn
WR - Michael Floyd, SR, Cretin-Derham Hall
WR - Elliott Herdina, SR, Blooming Prairie
DL - Willie Mobley, SR, Eden Prairie
DL - Brendan Kelley, SR, Holy Angels
DL - Kolby Gruhot, SR, Stephen-Argyle
DL - Jason Engstrom, SR, Coon Rapids
LB - Sam Maresh, SR, Champlin Park
LB - Jake King, SR, Totino-Grace
LB - Brian Renkes, SR, Hutchinson
LB - Jeff Schuette, SR, Wayzata
DB - Joe Loftus, SR, Holy Angels
DB - Kyle Melcher, JR, Owatonna
DB - Andy Joyce, SR, Wayzata
DB - Cody Hendrickson, SR, Cromwell
Punter - Erik Fabry, SR, Eastview
Kicker - Charlie Klaverkamp, SR, St. Cloud Tech
Returner - Tony Theisen, SR, Plainview-Elgin-Millville
QB - John Nance, SR, Cretin-Derham Hall
RB - Derek Earls, SR, Waconia
RB - Derek Kubicek, SR, La Crescent
RB - Jordan Johnson, SR, Tartan
OL - Eli Kelley, SR, St. Cloud Tech
OL - Tim Sauer, SR, Rosemount
OL - Casey Dehn, JR, Owatonna
OL - Eric Dirkes, SR, Albany
OL - Cory Callahan, SR, Northfield
TE - Trent Johnson, SR, Holy Family Catholic
WR - Dan Brown, SR, Osseo
WR - Justin Gominsky, SR, Mahtomedi
DL - Matt Garin, JR, Eastview
DL - Brian Arnfelt, SR, Stillwater
DL - Cole Jirik, JR, Northfield
DL - Joe Doubler, SR, Westbrook-Walnut Grove
LB - Kurt Schlangen, SR, Albany
LB - Will Jackson, SR, Eastview
LB - Zach Budish, JR, Edina
LB - Nick Zweber, SR, New Prague
DB - Cameron Harper, SR, Spring Lake Park
DB - Micah Koehn, SR, Totino-Grace
DB - Zac Kallas, SR, Eden Prairie
DB - Chace Sackett, SR, Triton
Punter - Luke Dewall, JR, Stillwater
Kicker - Matt Kloss, SR, Coon Rapids
Returner - Keraus Holiday, SR, Minneapolis Southwest
Logan Becker, SR, QB, Blue Earth Area; Hakeem Bourne-McFarlane, SR, WR, Bloomington Kennedy; Carter Bykowski, SR, TE, Eden Prairie; Dane Carlson, SR, WR, St. Michael-Albertville; Jordan Eaton, SR, DL, St. Paul Highland Park; Alex Flashenreim, SR, DB, Prior Lake; Tyler Gimmestad, JR, DL, Marshall; Zach Gran, SR, DB, Caledonia; Dominique Henderson, SR, RB, St. Paul Johnson; Daine Jensch, SR, OL, Triton; Thomas O'Brien, SR, QB, Winona Cotter; Danny Offerman, SR, DL, Roseville; Stephen Johnson, JR, RB, Mahtomedi; Alex Means, SR, LB, Mankato East; Jason Obarski, SR, P, Apple Valley; Cody Petersen, SR, RB, Caledonia; Eric Ryan, SR, RB, Goodhue; Shady Salamon, SR, RB, Cretin-Derham Hall; Tait Sande, SR, RB, Cook County; Erik Soderberg, SR, K, Eden Prairie; Varmah Sonie, JR, DB, Apple Valley; Nate Zuk, JR, LB, Moose Lake-Willow River.
QUARTERBACKS Josh Aakre, SR, Dawson-Boyd; Evan Aber, SR, Bloomington Kennedy; Tate Christopherson, SR, Osseo; Blake Cook, SR, Fridley; Isaac Dolan, JR, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton; Chris Eichten, SR, Wabasso; Marcus Hendrickson, SR, Perham; Jeremy Hoff, SR, Luverne; Philip Klaphake, JR, Princeton; Anders Lee, JR, Edina; Kolten Lee, SR, West Central Area; Jordan Marshall, SR, Totino-Grace; Austin Moe, JR, Blooming Prairie; Kody Moore, SR, Caledonia; Greg Morse, SR, St. Paul Como Park; Matt Muenchow, SR, Glencoe-Silver Lake; Nate Schaefbauer, SR, Brainerd; Mike Schultz, JR, Forest Lake; Ryan Schwagel, SR, Wheaton; Andy Sires, JR, Houston; Sam Solberg, SR, Cambridge-Isanti; Tydan Storrusten, JR, Pelican Rapids; John Straka, SR, Chaska; Ray Teachout, JR, Mankato West; Colin Westcott, JR, Minneapolis Southwest.
RUNNING BACKS Matt Anderson, SO, Dawson-Boyd; Paul Anderson, SR, Becker; Harry Awe, SR, Minnehaha Academy; Joel Bauman, SO, Kerkhoven-Murdock-Sunburg; Paul Bernier, SR, Lakeville North; Dee Broadnax, SR, Buffalo; Jake Chapek, SR, Southland; Leon Clark, SR, Rochester Century; Floyd DeGroat, JR, Waubun; Paul Dorn, SR, St. James; Jake Duske, SR, Buffalo; Doug Haugan, SR, Orono; Josh Hauswirth, SR, White Bear Lake; Ismail Karon, JR, Minnetonka; Blake Kerkhoff, SR, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva; Ian Klemetsen, SR, Littlefork-Big Falls; Glen Kruger, SR, Adrian; Alex Leach, SR, Pierz; Jon Lien, SR, Chisago Lakes; Kevin Lindh, JR, Houston; Jimmy Loonan, SR, Waseca; Ethan Magstadt, SR, Maple Grove; Billy Martini, JR, Dover-Eyota; Nathan Mattson, SO, Hawley; Sam Moenkedick, SR, Verndale; Brandon Mueller, SR, Chisago Lakes; Jerrod Nohner, SR, Eden Valley-Watkins; Craig Peterson, SR, Minneota; Bryce Prax, SR, Le Sueur-Henderson; Austin Quade, SR, Westbrook-Walnut Grove; Mike Rallis, SR, Edina; Derek Riley, SO, Wabasso; Colby Ring, JR, Brainerd; Caleb Rissmann, SR, Triton; Alex Roman, SR, Rochester Lourdes; Kurt Schlangen, SR, Albany; Marty Schmitz, JR, Cleveland; Nick Schneider, JR, Rocori; Jared Schultz, SO, Hillcrest Lutheran Academy; Levi Schultz, SR, New London-Spicer; Cory Shufelt, SR, Hutchinson; Mike Sullivan, SO, Winona Cotter; Tony Theisen, SR, Plainview-Elgin-Millville; Raphael Thomas, SR, Breck; Jesse Trimble, SR, Coon Rapids; Brawley Witte, SR, Lanesboro; Nate Zuk, JR, Moose Lake-Willow River.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN Andrew Anderson, SR, Crookston; Kyle Blanchard, SR, Park Rapids; Nick Brewers, SR, Orono; Josh Campion, JR, Fergus Falls; Cory Christianson, SR, Holy Angels; Landon Collins, SR, Minnehaha Academy; Parker Deutz, SR, Marshall; Jordan Eaton, SR, St. Paul Highland Park; Doug Gernes, SR, Winona Cotter; John Gervais, SR, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton; Tyler Gimmestad, JR, Marshall; Garth Heikkinen, SR, Duluth Central; Curtis James, SR, Edina; Josh Johnson, JR, Blooming Prairie; John Kath, SR, Coon Rapids; Erik Larson, SR, St. Charles; Tom Lyscio, SR, Brainerd; Ryan Mahoney, SR, White Bear Lake; Harry Merickel, SR, Mounds View; Dan Muenkel, SR, Caledonia; Dan Olson, SR, Burnsville; Ed Olson, JR, Mahtomedi; Jason Rodriguez-Cruz, SR, Rochester Lourdes; Chase Ulrick, SR, Champlin Park; Travis Wayne, SR, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva; Cory Weisner, SR, White Bear Lake; Spencer Zwaschka, SR, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton.
TIGHT ENDS Andrew Beckmann, SR, Waseca; Dan Edem, SR, Eastview; David Greer, SR, Orono; Lewis Johnson, SR, St. Paul Como Park; Nick Johnson, SR, Lakeville North; Patrick Merrier, JR, Proctor; Taylor Nelson, JR, Minnetonka; David Steele, SR, St. Paul Highland Park; Brad Weiers, SR, New Prague.
WIDE RECEIVERS Saladin Broadway, SR, St. Paul Como Park; Dane Carlson, SR, St. Michael-Albertville; Jason Fabian, SR, Roseau; Keraus Holiday, SR, Minneapolis Southwest; Josh Jerome, JR, St. Paul Como Park; Nick Judkins, SR, Lakeville North; Cameron Jurgenson, SR, Dawson-Boyd; Bryce McNeal, JR, Breck; Aaron Richter, JR, Mankato West; Michael Ricketts, JR, Wabasso; Jordan Rishavy, SR, Rochester John Marshall; Andrew Roiger, SO, Dawson-Boyd; Theo Rothstein, SR, St. Michael-Albertville; David Schmidt, SR, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton; Bronson Shepherd, SR, Brainerd; Jordan Smith, JR, Willmar; Collin Stinogel, SR, St. Cloud Tech; Mac Stoll, SR, Perham; Brett Watson, SR, Goodhue; Andy Wolfe, SR, Winona Cotter; Josh Zitzmann, JR, Farmington.
DEFENSIVE LINEMEN Casey Dehn, JR, Owatonna; Nick Eder, SR, Spring Lake Park; Mitchell Elliott, SR, Minnehaha Academy; Spencer Franke, SR, Dover-Eyota; Tony Gall, SR, Chisago Lakes; John Gervais, SR, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton; David Goebel, SR, Minnetonka; Kyle Groves, SR, Cambridge-Isanti; Jason Hankins, SR, Cleveland; Lewis Johnson, SR, St. Paul Como Park; Nick Johnson, SR, Lakeville North; Darin Joos, SR, Cretin-Derham Hall; Eli Kelley, SR, St. Cloud Tech; Justin Knakmuhs, JR, Westbrook-Walnut Grove; Garrett Lee, SR, Rogers; Laramie Lucas, SR, Brainerd; Chris Lundquist, SR, Spring Lake Park; Ben Moen, SR, Rochester John Marshall; Ryan Moertel, SR, Rochester Century; Matt O'Connell, JR, Cretin-Derham Hall; Ethan Preisler, SR, Le Center; Max Pryor, SR, Eden Prairie; Tony Rickoff, SR, Winona; Jake Svobodny, SR, Lakeville North; Tyler Terry, SR, Eastview; Charlie Thauwald, JR, Rochester Mayo; Travis Wayne, SR, New Richland-Hartland-Ellendale-Geneva; Zane Ziebell, SR, Lewiston-Altura; Spencer Zwaschka, SR, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton.
LINEBACKERS Colin Bergeson, JR, Dawson-Boyd; Brandon Birr, SR, Mankato West; Chase Bratland, JR, Winona; John Crape, JR, Austin; Chris Ewanakia, SR, Lakeville South; Mike Flicek, SR, Montgomery-Lonsdale; Jarod Franzen, SR, Dover-Eyota; Chase Haviland, SR, Thief River Falls; Kyle Heronimus, SR, Luverne; Jarid Jackson, SR, Champlin Park; Tyler Kennedy, JR, Park of Cottage Grove; Ian Klemetsen, SR, Littlefork-Big Falls; David Kunz, SR, Triton; Jimmy Loonan, SR, Waseca; Sam Moenkedick, SR, Verndale; Billy Morgan, SR, Rosemount; Kyle Mulrooney, JR, Andover; Allan Noyes, SR, Minneota; Adam Ourada, SR, Wabasso; Chet Paulson, SR, Benilde-St. Margaret's; Craig Peterson, SR, Minneota; Austin Quade, SR, Westbrook-Walnut Grove; Colby Ring, JR, Brainerd; Max Rotchadl, SR, Mankato Loyola; Tobi Saporu, JR, Blaine; Joe Savage, SR, Le Sueur-Henderson; Nathan Schmitz, JR, Perham; Brett Skoog, JR, Orono; Steven Slater, SR, Glencoe-Silver Lake; David Steele, SR, St. Paul Highland Park; Bruce Tanhoff, SR, Mankato Loyola; Torres Tillman, SR, Cretin-Derham Hall; Kevin Vaadeland, JR, Park Rapids; Mike Valesano, SR, Brainerd; Thomas Vanasek, SR, Lakeville North; Trey Welch, JR, Marshall; Joe Zimmerman, SR, Becker.
DEFENSIVE BACKS Patrick Bowlin, SR, Winona Cotter; Matt Dvorak, SR, St. Croix Lutheran; David Greer, SR, Orono; Keraus Holiday, SR, Minneapolis Southwest; Mike Hunter, SR, Simley; Jerrod Nohner, SR, Eden Valley-Watkins; Dan Opitz, SR, Burnsville; Shady Salamon, SR, Cretin-Derham Hall; David Schmidt, SR, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton; Marc Sonnen, JR, Tartan; R.J. Speidel, SR, Cretin-Derham Hall; Sam Storlie, JR, Mabel-Canton; Dan Tipping, SR, Cretin-Derham Hall; Andrew Van Eps, SR, Mounds View; Ben Wolf, SR, New Ulm Cathedral.
PUNTERS AND KICKERS Josh Aakre, SR, Dawson-Boyd; Porfirio Diaz, SR, Pelican Rapids; Kyle Griffin, SR, Anoka; Brandon Mueller, SR, Chisago Lakes; Michael Pelikan, SR, Cretin-Derham Hall; Jordan Smith, JR, Willmar; Brad Weiers, SR, New Prague; Spencer Zwaschka, SR, Tracy-Milroy-Balaton.
RETURNERS AND SPECIALISTS Zac Kallas, SR, Eden Prairie; Derek Kubicek, SR, La Crescent; Jon Lien, SR, Chisago Lakes; Varmah Sonie, JR, Apple Valley; Fritz Waldvogel, SR, St. Thomas Academy.
Recent Player of the Year winners
2007 - Michael Floyd, WR, Cretin-Derham Hall
2006 - Michael Floyd, WR, Cretin-Derham Hall
2005 - Jake Machacek, RB, Eastview
2004 - Nick Mertens, QB, East Grand Forks
2003 - Nathan Swift, RB, Hutchinson
2002 - John Majeski, RB, Hastings
2001 - Tyler Evans, RB, McLeod West
2000 - Joe Mauer, QB, Cretin-Derham Hall
1999 - Dominique Sims, DB, DeLaSalle
1998 - Thomas Tapeh, RB, St. Paul Johnson
1997 - Ryan Iversen, LB, Eden Prairie
1996 - Brian Day, RB, Brainerd
1995 - Kirk Midthun, QB, Triton
1994 - (tie) Kirk Midthun, QB, Triton, and Tim Rosga, DB, Cretin-Derham Hall
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