Notre Dame running back Cierre Wood has officially declared for the 2013 NFL draft, according to ESPN's Joe Schad.
Notre Dame RB Cierre Wood will enter the next NFL Draft— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) January 14, 2013
Wood rushed for 742 yards and four touchdowns during the 2012 regular season. More specifically, he did so on 6.5 yards per carry. That included rushing for 5.6 yards per carry against both Michigan and Michigan State and 5.5 yards per carry against Stanford.
While Wood didn't get that many opportunities in the backfield this season, he certainly made the most of them.
Wood is a patient runner, which is why he was able to find holes to break off big runs in 2012. He's also a balanced and fluid runner who can be elusive in the open field. When he was given a full workload by the Fighting Irish in 2011, he rushed for over 1,100 yards and nine touchdowns.
Wood's quickness and speed are noteworthy, as he can burst through holes in a flash. He also has good footwork and his lateral agility is impressive.
The biggest concern with Wood at the next level is that the 6'1", 215-pound back is not the most powerful of runners. He's not the kind of guy who will rack up a lot of yardage after contact or finish strong in goal-line and short-yardage situations. That could make him more of a change-of-pace back than a legit all-around player in the NFL.
Also, while Wood shows awareness in pass protection, he would do himself a favor by bulking up before his first pro season. He could have trouble blocking bull-rushers in pass protection.