Tanner Wood, who has been committed to the Kansas State football program for 15 months, has been exceptional this year for the Conway Springs (Kan.) Cardinals. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound middle linebacker/running back has scored in almost every conceivable way in the first four games of the season.
"This year I'm one of four team captains," said Tanner Wood, who is in his third season as a starter. "It's been a humbling experience. It shows you how tough it is to be a leader. You have to be able to adapt.
"We're 4-0 and taking it week-to-week. I'm reading by blocks well, shutting off blockers, and getting to the ball and making tackles. I'm averaging 10 tackles per game and 180 rushing yards per game."
Wood is also doing big things offensively. In the Cardinals route of Bluestem, Wood had 250 total yards and five touchdowns (four rushing, one passing). In the Caney Valley game, Wood had a 25-yard pick six, a 4-yard fumble return for a score, and a three-yard burst through the hole for an touchdown on offense.
Last week against Cheney, Wood took a kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown and also ran three in to account for 24 of the Cardinals' 27 points. After big Friday showings, he's been making his way to 160 miles north to Manhattan to see the Wildcats in action on Saturdays.
"I've enjoyed watching them play and hope [the Wildcats] can keep it up," Wood said. "I've already been to two games and I'm planning on being at the rest of the home games. I've been to Kansas State ten times and feel a close bond with the coaches and the players. I know a lot of the guys from the Wichita area like Matt Seiwert, Jonathan Truman, and Boston Stiverson. Manhattan has a great family atmosphere and a good location that's close to home."
Wood and teammate, Matt Seiwert, both committed to Kansas State in June of 2011. He was offered by Joe Bob Clements as a hybrid defensive end/linebacker. Over the summer, Wood attended two Kansas State camps and a National Underclassmen Combine in Norman, Okla. where he was selected as the top linebacker. He reports a cumulative GPA of 3.92 and is looking at majoring in Kinesiology or Veterinary Science in college.