Averaging 14.5 yards a carry, with scholarship offers from USC, Notre Dame and Florida, junior running back Cierre Wood of Oxnard Santa Clara High has every reason to walk among the 400 students on campus as if he were a star.
But that's not going to happen as long as his parents, Martine and Valerie, are in charge of his living arrangements. All Wood has to do is come home to bring him back to earth.
"My mom has a tendency to walk around, 'Cierre, clean that up!' " he said.
With five children ranging in age from 9 to 17, Wood's mother offers no apologies.
"I'm 12th out of 13 kids," Valerie said. "We all had to do chores."
On Saturday morning, usually the day after Wood has run over or away from helpless tacklers, he's under the vigilant eyes of his mother, mopping the kitchen floor, mowing the lawn, cleaning a bathroom and doing laundry.
Shouldn't Wood get some sympathy after all the excitement and pressure of Friday night football?
"Not in my house," his mother said. "He's still just one of the kids. The kids think, 'He's my stupid brother.' "
Wood has a 3.2 grade-point average, stands 6 feet, weighs 196 pounds and is having a better season than the nation's No. 1 running back prospect, Darrell Scott, who plays for Ventura St. Bonaventure about 10 miles away.
Wood has rushed for 1,651 yards and scored 26 touchdowns for Santa Clara, the Frontier League champion. In a game last month against Santa Barbara Bishop Diego, he had six touchdowns and rushed for 377 yards, including a 61-yard run for the tying score with 43 seconds left in a 42-41 victory. He also caught a 54-yard pass, completed an eight-yard pass, punted twice and was the holder on the game-winning conversion kick.
"We used to see Lorenzo Booker, and there's some parallels," Bishop Diego Coach Tom Crawford said.
Booker was the nation's No. 1 running back when he played for St. Bonaventure in 2001 before signing with Florida State. Wood is attracting big-time college recruiters in his junior year even though football isn't his favorite sport. He was a basketball player when he showed up at St. Bonaventure in the summer before his freshman year. He worked out with the football team but ended up at Santa Clara when he got the impression that all St. Bonaventure cared about was football.
"He was looking sad," his mother said. "He'd be looking at the gym, 'I want to play basketball.' "
He decided to enroll at Santa Clara, which won three state basketball championships under former coach Lou Cvijanovich.
"He kind of dropped on our doorstep," Athletic Director Mike Schabert said.
Added Wood: "When I first came, I didn't know anyone. That changed after the first day. You get accepted and they welcome you with open arms."
Football Coach Fran Fredette should be doing cartwheels considering the impact Wood has made. Last season, Wood was a sophomore phenom, rushing for 2,002 yards and 25 touchdowns as Santa Clara went 10-3 and ended 16 consecutive years of losing seasons. CalHiSports.com selected him the state sophomore player of the year.
He also played basketball and was second-team all-league.
"I still like basketball better, but football is cool," he said.
Opposing football coaches wish he'd become a full-time basketball player, but that's not going to happen. Wood understands football is in his future.
"He hits the hole and explodes," Bishop Diego's Crawford said.
"What impressed me was his ability to run through tacklers. He's an impact player at whatever division he's playing in."
Santa Clara (8-1-1, seeded No. 2 in the Southern Section Mid-Valley Division playoffs) opened the postseason Friday night with a 41-14 victory over Sun Valley Village Christian, and Wood, despite scoring five touchdowns, knows what awaits him this morning: chores.
"I get no special treatment," he said. "Whatever everyone else is doing, I'm doing, and probably more."