ESPN college football reporter Joe Schad tweeted today that Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood will enter the 2013 NFL Draft. Wood finished this season with 742 yards (averaging 6.5 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. Cierre finishes his career in South Bend with 2,447 yards and 16 touchdowns. Wood was suspended for the first two games of the season for “a violation of team rules”.
Schad also tweeted from his Twitter handle (@schadjoe), that Wood “has been told he may be a third-round draft choice but he hopes to improve upon that status with excellent workouts”. Wood, a senior who could have applied for an extra year of eligibility, opened up the depth chart at the running back position for the Irish moving forward. With Theo Riddick graduating and Wood declaring for the pros, the featured back position in South Bend is wide open. Running backs George Atkinson III and Cam McDaniel are the only two returning that saw action last season. Atkinson III saw action in 11 games this season, racking up 361 yards and five touchdowns. McDaniel’s only action in the backfield came in just three games in which he gained 125 yards and scored once.
Outlook: Not only do the Irish have some work to do to figure out who will be the 2013 feature back, Cierre Wood has some work to do to improve his draft stock. From most predictions and mock drafts, Wood is in the later 3rd-4th round area. Cierre lacks the ability to run in between the tackles as tough as some backs in this class, but his ability to make defenders miss in the open field and his breakaway speed could land him in an NFL camp somewhere.