Cierre Wood (6-foot-0, 218-pounds) will head to South Bend tomorrow to begin a new life. There will be a lot of expectations of him, but he's ready to handle anything that comes at him.
"I'm really excited, I'm just finishing up packing, because I'm leaving Friday," Wood responded when asked about reporting to Notre Dame. "I'm not sure what to expect, but I'm looking forward to it though.
"I've really just been keeping in touch with Zeke (Motta). We've always been real cool, so I'm just making sure he's keeping out of trouble."
Irish fans would like to see Wood on the field this season, and he'd agree with every one of them.
"Right now the coaches haven't said anything, except to come in and get ready to play right away," Wood explained. "I think I've set myself up really good to earn some playing time. I haven't packed on any fat, but I've packed on 11 pounds of muscle. Right now I'm about 218-pounds. I was around 195-pounds my junior year.
"My expectation is to compete and get on the field, that's what I'm striving for. I'm thinking playing time right away, but they're already asking me if I can return. I said ‘Coach if you put me back there, get ready for baby (Devin) Hester. I'm lethal when I get back there.' I know if I get the chance to be on the field that I won't let the people who put me on the field down.
"I'm looking forward to stepping on the field when it's game time," he said. "I don't think I'll really be nervous, I think I'll be more anxious."
With the amount of talent Wood has, he could have selected just about any school in the country. But when it came down to his comfort level, Notre Dame was the perfect fit.
"Definitely UCLA, if it wasn't Notre Dame." Wood replied when asked which school finished second for his services. "I think I could have fit in at UCLA if Notre Dame didn't work out. But Notre Dame was just like a pair of shoes that you feel comfortable in, you don't want to go out and get another pair. All the other schools were great, but they just didn't fit me and they didn't make me feel the way I wanted to feel. When I took my trips to Notre Dame, everything connected and everything was perfect for me.
"Kapron Lewis-Moore was my host on my official visit. I really didn't get a chance to hang out with too many guys because I was only there for a short period of time, but from what I saw they seemed like a good group of guys."