Wood Remains Wide Open

Poway (CA) defensive tackle Nick Wood has been a busy man this summer.

After visiting several schools nearby his California home, Wood and his father flew out east to check out other colleges pursuing the talented defender.

"We flew into North Carolina and drove up to Virginia Tech and Virginia," Nick Wood told Pack Pride. "We came back down to Duke, camped at Wake Forest, and also visited NC State and North Carolina.

"All of them really impressed me. With those schools, they all are strong academically. They all play in the ACC, and they have really strong academics. They all have good business programs. With the mix of academics and football programs, there's not really too much like that in the country."

Wood had offers from Hawaii, Colorado State, Utah, UTEP, Idaho, Boise State, Washington, Washington State, Oregon State, Arizona State and Duke prior to his trip. Did he pick up anymore offers?

"I have probably 15 offers right now," Wood said. I walked away with offers from Wake Forest and NC State. Duke had already offered me, and Vanderbilt offered after all of them. Virginia Tech was recruiting me before, and it looks like they will now even more, and Virginia is looking at my tape. I think they are going to get back with me."

Wood noted that on his visit he was able to check out the facilities at each program. Two schools really stood out.

"NC State probably had the best facilities that I've seen," he stated. "They had a really, really nice stadium, and they had their football facilities built right into it.

"NC State probably had the best facilities that I've seen."

"I thought the wolves out front was very cool. They have this huge statue with a pack of wolves, and that really caught my eye. Anyone that has seen the facilities there would know it's pretty crazy. Everything there is just all quality.

"Virginia Tech was right up there with NC State. All of their facilities are state-of-the-art. Truthfully all of the colleges had really good facilities though."

NC State was probably the one school that Wood wasn't considering before his trip out east. The Wolfpack had not been recruiting the California product, but while in the area to visit Duke, Wood and his father decided to head over to NC State.

"We didn't really have them penciled in, and we just kind of showed up," Wood said. "It's kind of funny because they were not expecting us, and they had camp going on.

"We looked around for the coaches, and I was able to find coach Stroud. He was pretty busy with camp, but we talked a long time. He had a chance to talk with me and see what I was all about. I dropped off my tape, and they watched it. The next day they asked me what number I wanted and offered a scholarship."

What does Wood think about the Wolfpack?

"The coaches just seemed like really good guys," he said. "You can get pretty good vibes about a school, and I got that there. Coach Stroud and coach Amato... those guys seemed really, really cool. I'm really interested to check out the team and see what their guys are like because I wasn't able to do that.

"They also had three defensive linemen drafted in the first round of the NFL Draft. I like that because you know there could be playing time there because a lot of seniors and redshirt seniors with a lot of playing experience won't already be there.

"It looks like they have something really good going on there. I'm glad I went there and saw what NC State football is all about."

As for his recruitment, Wood admits that it is still in the early stages. Colleges are extending offers and he wants to make the best decision for him.

"I really haven't narrowed it down too far," he said. "I can't even give you a top five right now because I'm still looking at everyone.

"If I got the right feeling about the best possible opportunity, I'd definitely consider an early commitment. I do want to really try and make my decision as early as possible, but it just depends on when I get that feeling."

Despite the long list, Wood spoke highly of several programs in pursuit.

"With Duke, there's really nothing like it," he said. "I've probably seen 15 or 20 schools, and its campus is pretty amazing. We met the deans, and it's really appealing, the thought of going to Duke.

"I just have a pretty good feeling about the Arizona State program. I like the entire program, and I like the position of the campus. It's pretty close to home. The coaches I really like. I met some of the players, and it's something that I'm going to consider.

"I really try to work on my range, my footwork, and my speed."

"I got to meet the players at Wake Forest. I saw them workout, and I met their defensive line guys and they were a good group.

"I like Vanderbilt a lot. I like the coaches there, and they just offered. They have really strong academics."

What will be the biggest factor in the three-star prospect's decision?

"The academics is probably the biggest part in my decision, but obviously the football program is really important for me," said Wood. "I always find myself thinking about going to a really good bowl team and competing for a national championship, but you also want to set yourself up for after college."

Wood was a First-Team All-Palomar League selection at defensive tackle for Poway in 2005. He will also play some offense in 2006. An accomplished athlete, Wood also does the shotput and discus and is Poway's heavyweight wrestler. At a 2006 football camp, he did 50 reps of 185 pounds, showcasing his impressive strength.

"That's just all hard work," he said. "That all really has paid off. I think that doing well at the combines got me on the radar with the whole recruiting process, but as a player the hard work in the weightroom has paid off for me. I go to the gym five days a week, and it's all about intensity.

"I really try to work on my range, my footwork, and my speed."

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