Originally written on Optimum Scouting  |  Last updated 11/19/14

Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood was considered by many to be a Heisman sleeper leading up to the 2012 season. That status took a big hit Sunday afternoon, as the school announced Wood is suspended for two games, beginning with their trip to Dublin to face off against Navy.

According to head coach Brian Kelly, Wood was suspended for violating team rules. He did not elaborate any further as to the cause of Wood’s suspension.



Wood was one of the bright spots of Notre Dame’s 2011 season. He rushed for over 1100 yards in his sophomore campaign, leading the team in rushing. It was the best season for a Notre Dame running back since Darius Walker in 2006.

Wood’s suspension will be a fairly substantial loss for the Fighting Irish. Notre Dame is starting redshirt freshman Everett Golson at quarterback, and observers expected that the offense would be depending on Wood to carry the load, at least to start the season.

Golson, while a good pocket passer, is also a mobile player and many thought Kelly would feature a read-option offense while Golson adjusted to this level of play. That would mean Wood would have plenty of big play opportunities, fueling talk that Wood could be an under the radar Heisman candidate.

Now, Notre Dame will instead be looking to the running backs behind Wood on the depth chart. In 2011 Wood, Armando Allen and Jonas Grey dominated the workload in the backfield. Allen and Grey are gone now, meaning the Fighting Irish have capable, but largely untested depth behind the redshirt junior. Theo Riddick saw only 14 carries last year, and George Atkinson carried the ball nine times.

Riddick, however caught 38 passes for over 400 yards, and Atkinson scored two touchdowns on the ground. Neither player has had to be the workhorse before, but both players have flashed potential. Because of that, the Notre Dame offense should be able to survive Wood’s absence.

Related: Standout Tennessee Wide Reciever Da'Rick Rodgers Suspended

Wood will likely suffer more. The two game suspension will likely take away whatever chance the junior had of making a serious push for the Heisman. His focus will now be on rehabilitating his reputation and draft stock. As a player without other notable off the field issues, this should be an achievable task, regardless of if Woods has his eyes set on the 2013 or 2014 NFL draft.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Wizards apologize for odd Black History Month tribute

Report: McCoy may want more money from Bills

Andre Johnson laughed upon hearing he wouldn't start

Brad Stevens: LeBron 'looks like the MVP to me'

Le'Veon Bell tees off on Mel Kiper Jr. over Twitter


Eagles ship LeSean McCoy to Bills for Kiko Alonso

Murray would reportedly give Cowboys hometown discount

Report: Giants ‘considering a run’ at Ndamukong Suh

Darnell Dockett reportedly visiting 49ers on Tuesday

David West on Brian Shaw being fired: ‘That’s bulls–t'

Hamels trade talk motivating Red Sox pitching staff

Columbus Zoo names newborn penguin after Ezekiel Elliott

Matt Barnes blasts NBA over James Harden suspension

Joe Rogan: Ronda Rousey could beat half the men

Bills tell C.J. Spiller he won't be re-signed

Ohio State self-reported funny NCAA violation

Lupul, Phaneuf, Cuthbert threaten lawsuit against TSN

Report: Adrian Peterson has trade list of five preferred teams

Murphy disagrees with Billy Bean’s homosexual 'lifestyle'

Trent Cole has ‘no respect’ for Eagles after release from team

Ronda Rousey lands free ticket to Pacquiao-Mayweather bout

Report: Celtics to pursue Love, Monroe and Gasol this summer

Trying to solve the Alex Guerrero problem

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Stevens: LeBron looks like the MVP

Spiller: EJ Manuel learned not to be 'buddy buddy' with everyone

Ten most underrated NFL free agents

Five potential landing spots for Andre Johnson

Texas-Baylor fight leads to 7 ejections

Mark Cuban will be Prez in 'Sharknado 3'

Report: Redskins interested in Suh

Report: Revis likely to hit free agency

Steve Spurrier joins Twitter

MJ makes Forbes billionaire list

Nick Young fires back at Robert Flores

Sad LeBron literally looks in mirror after loss to Rockets

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.