The first person Cierre Wood called when he made the Texans' 53-man roster was his one-year old daughter, Braelin, even though she could not talk. Wood then told the rest of his family he was now a Houston Texan.
"My mom was on the phone as well," Wood said. "My mom, she just got emotional, started praying on the phone. That's exactly what I did at that point. Got on my knees and I just broke down to myself, so I was just extremely fortunate, extremely happy."
It has been several days since Wood made that call and he is still on a high from the good news.
"At this point, I feel great, I feel blessed. It's a dream come true for me," Wood said Monday. "I've been working for this ever since I can remember. When I didn't get the call as far as to get cut what and not, at that point, I was just in a daze really.
After college, Wood was dealing with the disappointment of not being drafted while worrying about paying the bills.
"It was desperation," Wood said of his situation. "Not getting drafted that was really, really saddening to me. At the same time, I'm not one to feel sad about myself or feel said about anyone's situation. At that point, I'll figure out the next move. The game plan, which was to get picked up by a team, the Texans gave me my shot. From that point on, it was I've got to work as hard as I can to put myself in the limelight to show everybody what I've got, not just the Texans, but every other team.
An undrafted rookie out of Notre Dame, Wood has a work ethic that is defined by necessity.
"My family's really had to struggle basically all of my life," Wood said. "I just wanted to get them out of that situation. I can really care less about me. I really don't do it for me. Yes, I love the game. Yes, I love the competitiveness. This is the highest stage of them all. Like I said, at the end of the day, I don't do this for me at all. If I can make a lot of money and I can give it all to my daughter, that's exactly what I plan to do. If my mom can live happy and I can do some things to help her, help my dad, help my brothers and sisters, that's what I'm going to do. At the end of the day, I can really care less about me. As long as my daughter is fine and my family is okay, I'm okay at that point."
Wood's hard work paid off for him. The 22-year old led the team in rushing during the preseason with 191 yards on 35 carries. He also added 49 yards on 5 receptions. Wood's final preseason performance at Dallas did not hurt either as he set several team records with his rushing. Wood gained 107 yards on 19 carries, marking the third-most rushing yards during preseason in franchise history. His performance also marked the third time that a Texan surpassed 100 yards rushing in a preseason game. Wood, who rushed for 81 yards on 5 carries in the first quarter, had a 41-yard run which set a record for the longest in Texans' preseason history.
Wood was approached by the Washington Redskins, but after doing his homework, decided that Houston is where he wanted to play.
"This was the perfect fit," Wood said. "This is where I wanted to be. I grew up watching the Texans for the past three years. They've really become an established team, especially these past two years, winning the division twice and what not. I felt like this was the perfect spot for me and I was going to do anything and everything I had to do for me to make my mark."