Report: Welch, Wood will transfer for fifth year
It looks like seniors Alex Welch and Lo Wood are nearing the end of their careers at Notre Dame. The reserve tight end and cornerback are looking to transfer, set to graduate from Notre Dame and play their final season at a different college without restriction.
Pete Sampson of Irish Illustrated was the first to report this news over Twitter:
Irish Illustrated has learned that Lo Wood and Alex Welch intend to transfer from Notre Dame and have informed the Irish program.— Pete Sampson (@PeteSampson_) December 2, 2013
The move makes a ton of sense for both players. For Welch, it gives the 6-foot-3.5, 251-pound tight end a chance to get out from behind Troy Niklas and Ben Koyack. For Wood, he’ll have the opportunity to play somewhere, with freshmen Devin Butler and Cole Luke pushing ahead of him in the depth chart this season and KeiVarae Russell entrenched as a starter
Both Welch and Wood had their Irish careers derailed by untimely injuries. For Welch, a preseason knee injury robbed the Cincinnati native of his opportunity to be the No. 2 tight end last season, forcing Niklas into the lineup.
Wood suffered a similar fate, tearing his Achilles tendon in preseason camp where he was set to start at cornerback, forcing Russell into the starting lineup having never played cornerback. Wood returned this season, but only saw minimal time in the secondary, bouncing between corner and safety.
As we begin to project the 85-man roster and the always delicate fifth-year situation before next year, the potential departure of Welch and Wood from the roster bubble opens up space for additional recruits and other seniors to return.
Sampson predicts Wood will end up at Georgia Tech and that Welch will end up at a program closer to his hometown in Cincinnati. Lst year, seldom-used tight end Jake Golic transferred to the Bearcats before chronic injuries ended his career.