Notre Dame's Cierre Wood Leaning Toward NFL Draft

By Patrick Schmidt

Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood may play his last game as a member of the Fighting Irish in the BCS National Championship Game vs. Alabama and declare for the NFL draft.

Wood is the second leading rusher for the undefeated Irish and has one more year of eligibility remaining, but his time in South Bend may be coming to an end according to comments his mother made to the Chicago Tribune, saying its “70-30 he’s leaning that he’s taking it to the next level.”

Most of the draft projections do not have Wood raked that highly and when he gets feedback from the draft advisory board that could project him as a fifth round pick at best could change his mind toward sticking in South Bend for another year.

His season started with a two-game suspension, but has three- 100 yard games this season and ranks second on the team with four rushing touchdowns after sharing carries with leading rusher Theo Riddick.

Notre Dame can absorb the potential loss of Wood as they have an oral commitment from Greg Bryant, the No. 2 ranked running back in the class of 2013 according to ESPN. Bryant is the 27th overall prospect and the four-star recruit out of Florida will be counted on to step in as a true freshman and fill the void left by Wood.

The Fighting Irish also have a commitment from Jamel James who is in the ESPN300 who could give the Irish another option in the backfield.

The decision to enter the draft likely won’t be made until after the season is over, but the writing is on the wall and it appears that Wood will have one more game left to make his mark in the Notre Dame lexicon–going out with a win over Alabama would be a nice farewell.

Follow me on Twitter @PatrickASchmidt

Patrick is a diehard Chicago sports and an avid college football fan, and the host of “The Wake-up Call,” a weekly sports show on airing live on Wednesday mornings from 8-10. View his show’s website here.

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