Senior RB Cierre Wood paced the Irish ground attack with a team-high 1,102 yards (12th-best in single-season school history) and nine rushing touchdowns.

Tyler Eifert, Cierre Wood and Manti Te'o Named To Preseason Awards Watch Lists

July 10, 2012

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The University of Notre Dame football team placed two student-athletes on the Maxwell Award Watch List and one on the Bednarik Award Watch List, it was announced Monday.

Senior tight end Tyler Eifert and senior running back Cierre Wood were named to the Maxwell Award Watch List, while senior LB Manti Te’o earned recognition on the Bednarik Award Watch List.

The Maxwell Award is presented annually to college football’s player of the year, and the Chuck Bednarik Award is given to the defensive player of the year in college football.

A 2011 first-team All-American and the only tight end on the 2012 Maxwell Award Watch List, Eifert (Ft. Wayne, Ind./Bishop Dwenger H.S.) led all tight ends in the Football Bowl Subdivision with 63 receptions and 803 receiving yards last season. He broke Notre Dame’s record for most catches and receiving yards in a season by a tight end.

A finalist for the 2011 Mackey Award (nation’s top tight end), Eifert was named first-team All-American in 2011 by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, was a second-team All-America selection by Associated Press and was named a third-team All-American by both and Phil Steele.

Eifert has 90 receptions for 1,155 yards in his Notre Dame career. He is tied with Kyle Rudolph for the fourth-most catches in a career by a Notre Dame tight end and ranks second all-time in receiving yards by a Fighting Irish tight end. Eifert needs 39 receptions and 605 receiving yards to break Ken MacAfee’s school records for career catches and career receiving yards by a Notre Dame tight end.

Wood (Oxnard, Calif./Santa Clara H.S.) paced the Irish ground attack with a team-high 1,102 yards (12th-best in single-season school history) and nine rushing touchdowns. He became the 10th different Notre Dame running back to surpass 1,000 yards on the ground in aseason and first since Darius Walker ran for 1,267 yards in 2006. Wood also registered 1,375 total yards from scrimmage in 2011, which ranked sixth best in schoolhistory.

Wood eclipsed the 100-yard mark three separate times last year, including a career-best 191 yards on 20 carries in the victory over Purdue on Oct. 1. The 191 yards (15th-best in single-season school history) were the most by an Irish running back since Julius Jones had 218 yards rushing at Stanford on Nov. 29, 2003.

Te’o (Laie, Hawaii/Punahou H.S.) led the Irish with 128 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and five sacks in 2011. He has collected 261 combined tackles over the last two seasons. Te’o became the 10th player in Notre Dame history to record 300 tackles for a career and currently ranks eighth in school history with 324 tackles.

Walter Camp, Rivals, Phil Steele, and Associated Press named Te’o a second-team All-American. He earned Capital One Academic All-America second-team honors last year. Te’o was also a finalist for the Butkus Award and Lott Trophy in 2011.

— ND —