Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 1/14/13
Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood announced today he will forgo his final season of athletic eligibility and enter the 2013 NFL Draft. Wood leaves Notre Dame as the seventh-leading rusher in school history, having gained 2,447 yards on 450 career carries. No running back in Notre Dame history with as many career rushes as Wood has a better yards-per-rush average as his 5.4 yards-per-carry average.  His departure, along with the graduation of Theo Riddick, means the bulk of the carries will likely go to George Atkinson III or that stud freshman tailback, the #2 recruit at his position coming in. With no stud running back prospects in this class, and no sure fire first rounders at the position, it’s anyone’s guess where he ends up. Maybe rounds 2-4? Wood became the 16th Notre Dame running back to eclipse 2,000 career rushing yards and his 52 career receptions are tied for eighth all-time among Notre Dame running backs. He started 18 of 37 career games played for the Irish and scored 18 total touchdowns at Notre Dame (16 rushing and two receiving).  “Cierre has been an important member of our football team in my three years at Notre Dame and I appreciate all he did to help get our program back on top,” Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly said. “I wish him well in the future and hope he has a successful playing career at the next level.”  Wood totaled 742 rushing yards in 2012 and was Notre Dame’s second-leading rusher. He averaged 6.5 yards per carry and scored four rushing touchdowns this year. Wood posted a season-best 150 rushing yards on 11 carries on senior day vs. Wake Forest and recorded 114 yards on 18 carries against BYU. Perhaps Wood’s most memorable run was the 62-yard touchdown at Oklahoma that gave the Irish a 7-3 lead vs. the Sooners.  In 2011, Wood registered the 16th 1,000-yard rushing season in school history as he paced the Irish with 1,102 yards on 217 rushes and added nine touchdowns. He caught a career-high 27 passes for 189 yards and Wood’s 1,291 total yards from scrimmage in 2011 were the ninth most in school history.  After sitting out his freshman season, Wood led the Irish in 2010 with 603 rushing yards and averaged 5.1 yards per carry. He added 20 receptions for 170 yards and two receiving touchdowns and returned 15 kickoffs for 300 yards. Wood’s Place in the Notre Dame Record Books Career Rushing Yards – 7th, 2,447 Career Receptions by a Running Back – tied 8th, 52 Career Yards from Scrimmage – 9th, 2,831 Career 100-Yard Rushing Games – 12th, 6 Single-Season Yards from Scrimmage – 9th, 1,291 (2011) Single-Season TD Receptions by a Running Back – tied 9th, 2 (2010) Single-Season Receptions by a Running Back – 10th, 27 (2011) Single-Game Yards per Rush – 4th, 13.6 (2012 vs. Wake Forest)   Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, a Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports A Fulbright scholar, published author and MBA, Banks has appeared on live radio all over the world; he’s also a member of the Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association, and Society of Professional Journalists. The President of the United States follows him on Twitter (@Paul_M_BanksTSB) You should too.  
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