While the Wildcat staff is still hard at work putting together the class of 2012, they got an early jump on 2013 with the commitment of Tanner Wood, a junior from Conway Springs High School. Wood had a breakthrough sophomore season for the Cardinals playing both quarterback and middle linebacker.
"Kansas State extended the offer a couple of days before I camped in Manhattan," said Tanner Wood. "I thought I performed very well at the camp. A couple of days after I called the coaches and accepted the offer."
Although Wood, 6-foot-5, 235-pounds, has done exceptionally well at quarterback and helped lead Conway Springs to the Class 3A state final game, the Wildcat staff likes him on defense. Defensive end coach, Joe Bob Clements, gets credit for the number one K-State commitment for 2013.
"I really love the coaching staff," Wood said of Kansas State. "It's close to home. I love every part of the program, and the university really, and my family feels the same way. When I called to commit I spoke to Joe Bob and Coach [Chris] Cosh, the Defensive Coordinator. They offered me at linebacker or defensive end. I'm excited to play either position."
Wood plays in the single wing offense where the ball is snapped to literally any player in the backfield. Blocking and running people over are actually part of the job requirements for the quarterback in the system. Still, Wood threw for over 600 yards completing 61-percent of his passes and had 10 touchdown throws to only two interceptions. He rushed for nearly 400 yards with nine touchdowns.
"I played as a freshman at linebacker, but this was my first year at quarterback," Wood said. "I thought I started making better reads, did better in my throwing step, and got stronger."
Switching to defense, Wood was third on his team in tackles rotating in at inside linebacker. While some may be content as the team's starting quarterback, Wood enjoys the physicality of playing on defense.
"I'd have to say my best strengths at linebacker are my speed and quickness," Wood said. "I'm a solid tackler. I like to drill people. My goal this season is to lead the team in tackles. Of course, our number one goal is to win state."
The Cardinals came up one game short losing to Silver Lake, 27-21, in the state final. They have a good group returning including senior Matt Seiwert, another recent Kansas State commitment.
An excellent student, sporting a 3.95 GPA, Wood was impressed with what K-State had to offer in the way of academics.
"Academics was definitely a big determinant," Wood said on his decision. "I'd like to study Veterinary Medicine, Nutrition, or Bioengineering."
Wood plays basketball and track where he competes in the 4x1, the 100, and the shot put. Before his commitment to Kansas State he was being shown interest by Big 12 competitors, Kansas and Oklahoma. He'll wear jersey No. 14 again for the Cardinals as he'll wreak havoc on offenses (and defenses) in the Central Plains Conference.
Wildcat Commit: Tanner Wood
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