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Great Night To Be Irish

Apr 27, 2012, 12:15 AM EST

Smith, H INT return vs Pitt (KL)[2]-thumb-460x367-25734

Everyone knew former Notre Dame wide receiver Michael Floyd was a sure-thing first rounder, but it was Minnesota’s selection at pick #29 that turned a good night into a great night for Irish fans.

It all started when Arizona chose Floyd with pick #13, making him the highest Notre Dame selection since Bryant Young was drafted seventh in 1994. Floyd will join fellow Twin Cities native Larry Fitzgerald, setting up what could be a very impressive wide receiver tandem for the Cardinals.

About an hour and a half later, the Minnesota Vikings continued what is beginning to look like a push to be renamed ‘Notre Dame North,’ selecting 2011 Irish captain Harrison Smith with pick #29. The safety will team up with center John Sullivan (’07) and tight ends Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson (’07) in Minneapolis.

In the age of Twitter, it was great to see the hundreds of tweets from students, fans and local media congratulating the former Irish stars. But more so, I enjoyed seeing those from current and former Notre Dame players celebrating the great news.

Having gotten to know Mike and Harrison a bit during my time at Notre Dame, I was awfully happy to see their NFL dreams come true on night one of this year’s draft. I can only imagine how their Irish teammates felt, having become like their brothers over the past four years. From Manti Te’o to Matt Mulvey to Kapron Lewis-Moore, many could hardly put their excitement into words.

Let’s hope this trend of Irish success continues when the NFL Draft resumes on Friday. For all the facts and figures surrounding tonight’s draft picks, check out UND.com for the official Floyd and Smith press releases.

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