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Kelly was asked if the talented Wood was the best running back he’s coached. He thought about it for a while and offered what might be termed a politically correct answer at this stage of the junior’s career.

“He’s pretty darn good. Yeah, I mean, I’ve had some really good ones. Isaiah Pead was a pretty good back at Cincinnati,” Kelly said.

“We always try to compare him with Isaiah. They’re very good backs. They’re probably two of the top backs in the country, Pead and Cierre Wood. He (Wood) doesn’t have a huge resume. He’s got a lot of work left, but he’s a special player.”

Notes: Kelly, sporting a pink tie at his news conference Tuesday, said the Irish would sport that color in a variety of fashions Saturday for breast cancer awareness. Kelly’s wife, Pacqui, has twice battled breast cancer. … Kelly said DE Ethan Johnson would have a boot on his sprained ankle removed Thursday and a determination will be made later if he can play Saturday.