Notre Dame football: Welch, Wood expected to transfer

Tribune Staff Report
ND Insider

Two seniors with fifth-year options will reportedly transfer from Notre Dame following the season.

Irish Illustrated, a member of the Rivals.com network, first reported Monday that cornerback Lo Wood and tight end Alex Welch have shared their intentions to transfer to Notre Dame’s coaching staff.

A source close to Wood confirmed with WSBT-TV his plans to transfer.

The Irish Illustrated report indicated both players would seek to use their fifth year of eligibility elsewhere with Georgia Tech the likely candidate for Wood and Welch looking at schools closer to his hometown in Cincinnati.

Both players missed their junior seasons with injuries and were unable to find substantial playing time as seniors.

Wood, a 5-foot-11, 194-pound native of Apopka, Fla., was in line to become a starting cornerback in 2012 before an Achilles tendon injury in preseason practice sidelined him for the entire season.

Then-freshman KeiVarae Russell won the starting role in Wood’s absence last season and held onto the spot in 2013.

Playing in 10 games this season, Wood recorded 10 tackles as a reserve cornerback and special teams player.

He has played in 31 games during his career with the Irish, highlighted by a 57-yard interception return for a touchdown against Maryland in 2011.

Wood’s father, Lo Wood Sr., spoke with Blue & Gold Illustrated, a member of the 247Sports network, and confirmed his son’s plans to transfer.

“We know his ability is better than a limited role player. We know he can start in a Div. I program so we’ve got to go somewhere that can give him a shot,” Wood’s father told BGI. “(Head coach Brian) Kelly was a stand-up guy about the whole situation.”

The BGI report listed Georgia Tech, Central Florida and Florida as potential destinations for Wood.

As for Welch, the 6-4, 251-pound tight end saw little action following recovery from knee surgery that cost him his junior season.

He played in 11 games this season, made three tackles on special teams but did not record a catch. Welch caught just one pass for eight yards as a sophomore and did not play as a freshman.

Both Welch and Wood signed as part of Brian Kelly’s first recruiting class in February 2010 but were verbal commitments to Notre Dame under Charlie Weis.

Alex Welch