Wednesday, October 22, 2008


by Zach Smart

My buddy Brett and I have little in common. He’s high-octane, confrontational, and easily agitated at little things. I’m laid back, chilled out, and amused by the little things at life.

I’m 6-foot-2 and he’s 5-foot-7. I don’t follow the pre-election mayhem or get into politics at all, and he’s more right-wing than Fox News. In fact, he’s been scouring the New York Post every day, trying to kick some dirt on the “condescending, tree-hugging limousine liberals” veins. Wow.

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Clearly, we have our differences. One big similarity, however, is our uncanny ability to evaluate talent. It’s not like we should be recruiters or anything, but we’ve both been able to determine whether or not a player is going to pan out. We both said Roy Hibbert, who couldn’t do a full push-up when he first arrived at Georgetown, would pan out. He has.

We also said that Noel Devine and Julio Jones would have eye-opening, headline freshman seasons at their respective colleges. They did.

Of course, that’s not very debatable. Anyone who saw Devine’s mind-boggling High School highlights knows that the blink-quick, speed demon was going to turn heads and leave safeties in the dirt. DeMario Anderson, who authored a storied career at low Division-I Quinnipiac University and currently plays professionally in Belgium (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NJNLFZo3Nd4), was also high on Devine, who he habitually referenced as “the fastest dude on earth.”

Still, Brett and I like to avoid the process of hyping someone up and keep it real when it comes to recruits. For example, with both said that Curtis Kelly (who was dominant at Rice by the way) and Nate Miles would fit in at UConn like his little chick feet fit in my size 13 Adidas.

No joke. Have our words not proved prophetic? Have the young guns we pegged as promising not come to fruition?

So, after perusing the weapons of Notre Dame-bound running back, Cierre Wood, we’ve concluded that the 6-foot, 192-pound Wood will be the TRUTH.

Yeah, his name sounds like it’s fresh out of a smut flick but like Devine and Jones, his highlight clips show his blazing speed and ability to stay on his feet. He’s elusive, quick, and sports a vision that is just as polished as any pro.

Give the kid from Santa Clara, Calif. a good, hard look and tell me if you don't agree.


See what I mean? I'd be hard-pressed to find someone who does not believe that this kid's freshman season will drop jaws, pop eyeballs, make NFL scouts drool, get Irish fans in the pub screaming in joyous cohesion and allow "Rudy" to surface as the most popular-rented flick at some rundown Indianapolis video den.

He's definitely a dual-threat with his ability to rip through runways and corral long bombs. He jets the 40 in 4.5 seconds, while posting a 3.94-second shuttle run and sporting a 32-inch vertical leap, according to Rivals.com.

While the fighting Irish have had decent life in the backfield with the steady mix of Armando Allen (298 yards, 4.9 yards-per-carry), Robert Hughes (3.1 ypc) and James Aldridge (3.6 ypc), there's no question that they'll only be a beneficiary of Wood's presence next year as the College Football Odds in favor of the Irish should rise with Wood.

The statistics don't lie.

In his junior season at Oxnard, Wood rushed for 2,612 yards. He averaged a scorching 14.7 yards per carry and reached the end zone 34 times.

His senior season has featured more of the same. This five-star recruit has been killing it since he was a sophomore, when he carried the pigskin to the beat of 12 ypc.

He will help alter the perception of Notre Dame football next year. I promise. Brett promises. That should automatically tell you he's going to prolong his success at the next level. Keep an eye out for him.



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