Wood Gearing Up For Senior Year

With plenty of scholarship offers in tow and a verbal commitment already made, Cierre Wood has nothing to prove this fall.

But it sure would be nice to silence some critics.

Five-star running back Cierre Wood and his Oxnard (Calif.) Santa Clara High teammates have been promoted from the Frontier League, where they won or shared the last two titles, to the Tri-Valley League, to face the likes of Oaks Christian, Oak Park and Nordhoff.

"People always say, the only reason why we won was because of the league we were in," Wood stated. "When we do something this year, people won't be able to make an excuse."

Same goes for the 6-foot, 207-pound Wood.

The Notre Dame verbal commit ran for 2,612 yards and 42 touchdowns last season. He averaged a ridiculous 14.7 yards per carry, 200.9 yards per game, and was named the CIF and Ventura County Player of the Year. Yet, some people chalk Wood's stats up to his competition, or lack there of.

"I hear that all the time," Wood said. "I'm pretty much used to it.

"I don't know how I'm going to go out. I want to go out the best I can. Hopefully I'll go out in a good way."

Despite the local haters, top-notch programs like USC, Florida, Auburn, California and several others, thought Wood was good enough to play for them, before he ultimately decided on Notre Dame at the Irish spring game in April.

"All the hype has sort of died down," Wood said since committing. "It's gotten a little bit better. There are always people that still want to talk to you, but it has died down. It's been better because now I can concentrate on things I need to do."

That's prepare for his final prep season.

In his down time, Wood has noticed that his Notre Dame recruiting class is starting to come together, especially with the recent addition of five-star offensive guard Chris Watt.

"We're definitely going to make a push this year," Wood said. "I'm real excited."

Wood is also excited about the upcoming Notre Dame football season.

"They should be okay," Wood said. He got a good look at them at the Blue-Gold game. "The team was real cool. They had a lot of intensity. They have a lot of fight in them which I like."

Wood isn't sure when his schedule will allow him to make it back to South Bend. He keeps in touch with his recruiting coach Brian Polian, as well as offensive coordinator Mike Haywood.

"He is just like a real cool person, someone you can relate to," Wood said of Polian. "That's what really caught my eye. That and he looks like the dude off of Rudy.

"Coach Haywood asks me about my family and I ask him about his. Just catching up."

Irish Eyes will catch up with Wood during the season, and keep you posted on how he and the rest of the Irish commits are faring each week in the fall.

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