Wood Has His Favorites

Notre Dame and Michigan will meet on the gridiron this fall, but there is battle going on right now between two of the best programs in college football. Cornerback Lo Wood of Apopka High School (Fla.) will announce his college choice this summer, and it appears his decision will come down to the Irish and the Wolverines.

Lo Wood (5-foot-11 165-pounds) doesn't have a lot of SEC schools pursuing him, but that doesn't concern him one bit. He's confident of his abilities and he's excited to take his game up north.

"When recruiters talk to me, they say I'm one of the best natural cornerbacks they've seen," Wood replied when asked about his playing ability. "The one SEC school that was interested in me was Auburn, but the coaching staff left. The coach that was recruiting me at Auburn went to Ole Miss and he offered me as soon as he got to Ole Miss. He said that I was one of the best natural corners that he had ever seen. Purdue just told me that the other day.

"I knew I had the ability to be good my freshman year. We were in the playoffs, and I was paranoid and nervous, because it was a big game. We were up something like 7-6 late in the game. They got down to the 12-yard line and they threw the ball. There were two receivers and me in the endzone. I broke on the ball and the ball hit me directly in my hands. I caught it and just started running. I didn't get tackled until I was in the other endzone. The next day they said ‘A freshman saved the day.' When they did that my dad told me my career just got started."

"I want to leave Florida," Wood said. "I want to make a difference for my team. I don't want to go to a school that everybody around here goes to. I want to go make a difference on the team. I don't want to go where it's about individual superstars; I want to be part of a team. Teams win national championships, not individuals. Our team has a saying ‘Hoka Heya' and that means brothers – Prepare to die for your brother. That's the type of program that we have here and that's the type of program that I want to continue to be in.

Wood had heard a few things about Notre Dame prior to his recruitment, but when the cornerback made trip to South Bend in April, the Irish quickly became one of his favorites.

"All I really knew about Notre Dame was their history and tradition and that they were on TV every week," Lo explained. "My dad coaches speed training and he works with Lamont Bryant, who played at Notre Dame. My dad is always talking about Lamont and Notre Dame. Some of the kids my dad trains, their parents went to Notre Dame, and so I've heard about the how good the education is.

"We took a trip up there for the spring game and it was a good trip. I hung out with Spencer Boyd and Cody Riggs. We also hung out with James Aldridge. He was pretty cool. He had a lot of positive things to say. I didn't expect him to talk about the negatives, but he gave it to us real. He didn't exaggerate. He told us that it would be cold and that stuff; he gave it to us real. We had a good time. We enjoyed everything about it. The Northern hospitality was good. The fans were good. They were getting our autographs, which was good. Things that Corwin Brown taught me when I was up there I'm trying on the field right now. I know that I'd learn a lot from playing at Notre Dame. It was an eye-opener. "

The Irish aren't alone at the top of Wood's list of schools. The Michigan Wolverines made a big impression on him as well.

"The people were good there too," Wood responded when asked about Michigan. "You want to go where you get the same love you get at your home. My dad and I will be apart, so you want that same type of role model at your school. It was a good family feeling. The atmosphere was good. The fans and the stadium were good. The stadium was big. You've got to feel comfortable and I liked the people up there.

"I have the SAT on June 6th. We have our school exams after that. After school is done, I'll start to compare my schools. I want to graduate in December, so I want to make decision in June. Anything can happen, but that's my plan as of right now.

"It's between Notre Dame and Michigan right now, but Georgia Tech and Ole Miss are definitely there," Wood explained. "If I had to pick a fifth school it would probably be Purdue or Louisville. Unless something changes, it's going to come down to Notre Dame and Michigan.

"Either way it goes, I know I can be happy at either place. "

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