A Dream Come True for Two

Pickerington (Ohio) standout athlete Jamie Wood has been getting plenty of Big Ten interest as of late, with offers from Ohio State, Penn State, Illinois, Indiana and Northwestern. Wood talks about when he received IU's offer, and his thoughts on the IU program...

Jamie Wood says he's fulfilling a dream for a couple of people.

First of foremost is for himself. The 6-2-pound safety/wide receiver from Pickerington (Ohio) Central H.S. has been stockpiling scholarship offers as of late. Most recently he secured an offer from Ohio State, adding the Buckeyes to a list of offers that already included Indiana, Illinois, Northwestern, Stanford, Kentucky, Cincinnati and Miami (Ohio).

But all this attention is equally thrilling for him father, Jamie Wood, Jr. The elder Wood was once a coveted high school recruit who wound up having to pass on an opportunity to play collegiately so he could raise his newborn son.

Now, that son has blossomed into one of the top players on the state of Ohio in the '09 class, and both are enjoying the recruiting process side-by-side.

"I'm helping him live out his dreams too," said Wood. "He's been a big part of my life. He's always kept me humble and out of trouble."

He's also helped him develop into an outstanding football player. That's obvious by the quantity and quality of the scholarship offers he's already landed.

Ohio State is clearly a big one. Growing up as a fan of the Buckeyes, Wood had been unsure when Coach Jim Tressel's staff might pull the trigger on an offer. That was answered this week, but Tressel alerted Wood's high school about the tender.

While an OSU offer would be difficult to pass up, Wood said he's going to take a close look at each school that comes through with a scholarship.

"I like Ohio State and a I grew up an Ohio State fan, but I'm looking for the best school that will fit me," Wood said.

Indiana's coaches are hoping that he'll consider IU as that perfect fit. Indiana was the second Big Ten school to offer, coming on the heels of Northwestern. IU's coaches stopped by Pickerington Central H.S. about two weeks ago and offered both Wood and his high school teammate, wide receiver Patrick White.

"(IU's offer) was a surprise," Wood said. "I had the one Big Ten offer from Northwestern, but I had no idea Indiana was going to offer."

At this point, Wood is still learning about the Hoosiers, although he does like the fact they are in the Big Ten and they're also relatively close to home.

"I know they are good in basketball and I know their football program is up and coming, that they are getting pretty good," Wood said.

Will that be enough for the Hoosiers to stay in the running? The competition figures to be tough for Wood, who caught 25 passes for 548 yards and eight touchdowns on offense and posted 65 tackles, 12 passes broken up and one interception on defense as a junior.

"I'm just looking for somewhere that I can play big-time football," Wood said. "I want to play for a good school, I want to go to a good academic school, and I want to be able to get good exposure."

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