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Updated: Cierre Wood to add his name to the NFL draft pool

Notre Dame v Oklahoma Getty Images

Coach Brian Kelly is staying at Notre Dame for at least another year. Running back Cierre Wood is not.

Wood’s mother and stepfather confirmed to Brian Hamilton of the Chicago Tribune that the Notre Dame running back would forego his final year of eligibility and declare for the NFL draft. ESPN’s Joe Schad reported that Wood was going to declare earlier this morning.

The move shouldn’t be all that surprising. Wood’s mother told the Tribune in November that he was about “70-30″ leaning toward leaving.

“I just know that him and his mother discussed it, and it’s something he was ready for, and she said she was going to back him up on any decision he made,” Wood’s stepfather told the paper.

Notre Dame is expected to release a statement on Wood’s decision shortly.

The redshirt junior would finish his career with 2,447 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was the team’s second-leading rusher this season with 742 yards, but had just two in a BCS championship loss to Alabama. Wood was suspended the first two games of the 2012 season for “violating team rules.”

For more on what Wood’s departure means for the Irish, check out Keith Arnold‘s blog at Inside the Irish.

Updated 2:45 p.m. ET: As expected, Wood released a statement through the university this afternoon confirming his intentions to declare for the draft. He will exit the program as its seventh-leading rusher of all time.

“Having to make a decision like whether to stay in school or leave to pursue a lifelong dream of playing in the NFL is never simple,” Wood said. “I had to weigh many factors over the last month, but ultimately it came down to what I felt was the right decision that would most benefit my family. With that in mind, I’m leaving Notre Dame and am entering my name for this year’s NFL Draft.

“There are so many people I need to thank that have helped get me to this point. My teammates are friends I know I’ll have the rest of my life. I’ll miss hanging out with them in the locker room and around campus. They are a great group of guys and are poised for success next year.

“I also want to thank all of the coaches, specifically Coach Kelly and Coach Alford. Coach Kelly has the program heading in the right direction and I’m happy to know he’ll remain our head coach in the future. Coach Alford has been so much more than a coach to me. He’s been a mentor and a role model. He’s helped turn me into the man I am today.

“Lastly, I want to thank the school, our fans and the extended Notre Dame family. The love and appreciation you’ve shown me in my four years can never be repaid. I’ll always remember the ovation I received as I ran out of the tunnel on senior day and I can’t thank you enough.”

Brian Kelly also stated:

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. I wish him well in the future and hope he has a successful playing career at the next level.”

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14 Responses to “Updated: Cierre Wood to add his name to the NFL draft pool”
  1. kiopta1 says: Jan 14, 2013 12:49 PM

    Good luck young man. God bless. It’s been fun watching you play.

  2. matreyu13 says: Jan 14, 2013 12:56 PM

    I don’t think him coming back next would really help his draft stock. He’s been there long enough, I don’t think he can improve any further. Best of luck Mr Woods.

  3. thegamecocker says: Jan 14, 2013 1:14 PM

    Good luck Cierre. I’m sure you will meet up with Gary Grey on the field of play on Sundays….when pigs fly.

  4. be4bama says: Jan 14, 2013 1:39 PM

    Another causality of the BCS NC game.

  5. florida727 says: Jan 14, 2013 1:59 PM

    Not a fan or a hater, but I will be curious to see where this young man ends up, or where the pros project him to land in the draft. As an offensive player, you rarely base an individual’s ability off of one game, so his performance against Alabama most likely will mean absolutely nothing come draft day. That being said, the guy who did spend a lot of cash against ‘Bama was Manti Te’o. He got very badly exposed in my opinion. He may very well have gone from Heisman runner-up to 3rd or 4th rounder, all in a matter of a few hours on a Monday night.

  6. thegamecocker says: Jan 14, 2013 2:17 PM

    Can we safely say the Manti Te’o had a terrific “PR Machine” at ND. Can we also say the majority of the hardware he won should have gone to Jadeveon Clowney? I believe that to be the truth. Te’o had a superb senior season in the midst of a tough personal situation. But the truth is, Clowney would have been selected far ahead of Manti and any other defensive prospect this season and certainly next season. Both are high character individuals. As a matter of fact, at best, Te’o is as good as the guy who played for Georgia in 2005 -06, Pollack. He turned out not to be too good in the pros.

  7. pacific123ocean says: Jan 14, 2013 2:18 PM

    Good luck Cierre.

    He was a redshirt junior. I don’t know his status…but, he may still leave ND with a college degree.

  8. mgavin78 says: Jan 14, 2013 2:48 PM

    Another bad move.

  9. mungman69 says: Jan 14, 2013 2:56 PM

    I think that every college running back should go pro as soon as possible. They only have so many carries in those bodies.

  10. chc4 says: Jan 14, 2013 3:54 PM

    Comparing Te’o to David Pollack is beyond absurd. Pollack was a pass rushing DE at UGA that Cincy tried to turn into a 3-4 DE. Te’o is an MLB. Silly parallel to draw.

  11. sisqsage says: Jan 14, 2013 4:50 PM

    The NFL doesn’t covet RBs in the draft like they used to. He’s been assigned a third round grade, which means he will be drafted lower than that in all probability and won’t be a top priority on the team he ends up with. But he wasn’t the featured back in Brian Kelley’s eyes either, so he is kind of in no man’s land. With some discipline issues and fumbling on the 1, he won’t be missed much. Riddick, who is also leaving, was much more valuable, and the top recruits coming in probably have as much talent as Wood.

  12. thegamecocker says: Jan 14, 2013 5:20 PM

    @sisqsage

    The difference is Theo Riddick is a true sr. so his eligibility is over. But I think he will be useful to an NFL team because he can catch the ball with consistency and is a high-character young man. I hope he has earned his degree from ND because he is such a nice person who has many contacts in the NY/NJ Metro area. A ND degree will serve him well after his football playing days are over. I personally do not know Theo Riddick but I know many people who do. Everyone says nice things about this humble young man. Wish him the best.

  13. mtmk0586 says: Jan 15, 2013 12:47 PM

    Sure think he should have stayed another year. I think it would have sure helped him on draft day. Good luck to him. He has been fun to watch!

  14. thegamecocker says: Jan 15, 2013 1:01 PM

    Maybe if Brian Kelly would have taken the Eagle job, Cierre would have stayed. Ever think he may not have liked Kelly despite his note to the press which was probably written by the “ND PR Machine”…..

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