Zack Martin and Louis Nix to return for Notre Dame next season

Big nose tackle Louis Nix will play for the Irish in 2013. (US Presswire)

Notre Dame got some good news on Monday. Two of its top junior interior linemen -- left tackle Zack Martin and nose tackle Louis Nix -- announced through coach Brian Kelly that they would return to play their senior seasons in 2013.

Meanwhile, tailback Cierre Wood will seek an NFL Draft evaluation before making his decision after the BCS title game, though his mother says he is "70-30" leaning toward making the jump to the next level.

Martin was the top offensive lineman for the Irish, helping to pace a unit that rushed for 202 yards per game while allowing just 16 sacks. The huge, space-eating Nix was a key element of a Notre Dame defensive front that held opposing teams to 92 yards rushing per game. Nix had 45 tackles, including five and a half behind the line and two sacks.

With Martin's decision, the Irish will return three of its five starters up front on offense. Nix's return gives Notre Dame two of its three linemen back on its 3-4 defense.

Wood started four games and was second on the team in rushing with 740 yards. He rushed for 1,102 yards in 2011.

Notre Dame will play Alabama for the national title on Jan. 7 in Miami.

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