Wood rushing from Irish to NFL

McClatchy news servicesJanuary 15, 2013 

Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood announced Monday he is entering the NFL draft, deciding against returning for a final season of eligibility.

The 6-foot, 215-pound senior, who did not play as a freshman, was second on the team this past season with 742 yards rushing on 114 carries, including 2 yards on four carries in a 42-14 loss to Alabama in the BCS title game. He sat out the first two games of the season after being suspended by coach Brian Kelly for violating team rules.

He rushed for 2,447 yards on 450 carries in three seasons for the Irish, finishing seventh on Notre Dame’s all-time list. His 5.4 yards-per-carry average is the highest for any Irish back with that many carries. His best season was 2011, when he led the Irish with 1,102 yards rushing on 217 carries. He rushed for a career-high 191 yards in a game against Purdue that season.

Wood, who has a 1-year-old daughter, said it wasn’t an easy decision.

“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,” he said in a statement released by the school.

Kelly wished Wood well.

“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,” he said.

PLAYERS REJOIN TEXAS

Two Texas football players who were suspended before the Alamo Bowl amid a sexual assault allegation have rejoined the team.

Quarterback Case McCoy and linebacker Jordan Hicks were suspended a day before the Dec. 29 Alamo Bowl. A police report says a 21-year-old woman told investigators she had been drinking alcohol and was assaulted after inviting two men to her San Antonio hotel room. An attorney for Hicks says the incident was consensual.

Lawyers for the players last week said police told them the case would no longer be pursued. Police have said the investigation continues.

TCU QB RETURNS

Former TCU quarterback Casey Pachall has completed substance abuse rehabilitation and returned to the team.

Coach Gary Patterson said Pachall took part in team meetings Sunday, a day before school resumed.

Pachall, a junior, threw for 948 yards with 10 touchdowns and one interception in TCU’s first four games last season. He was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and on Oct. 9 the school said Pachall was leaving TCU for treatment. A year ago, Pachall admitted to police that he smoked marijuana and failed a team-administered drug test.

Patterson said the door would be open for Pachall to return following rehab.

The Horned Frogs finished 7-6 the past season.

EXTRA POINTS

Nebraska linebacker Sean Fisher has announced his plan to enroll in medical school next fall rather than petition the NCAA for a sixth season with the Cornhuskers. … Illinois coach Tim Beckman turned to his Mid-American Conference past and hired Bill Cubit as the new offensive coordinator for the Fighting Illini. Cubit was fired as coach at Western Michigan in November after a 4-8 season. He replaces Chris Beatty, who was fired earlier this month, and Bill Gonzales, who will stay at Illinois as wide receivers coach.

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