Wood Enjoying His Senior Season

Pickerington (Ohio) Central team captain Jamie Wood plays a position that often does not get tested in high school football, but that has not affected his senior season nor his preparation for his future at Ohio State. Take a look at this four-star prospect here on BuckeyeSports.com.

Life as a defensive back in high school can get pretty boring. Facing teams that primarily run the ball, true action within the secondary can be a rare thing throughout a prep career.

That was the case for Pickerington (Ohio) Central safety Jamie Wood, a four-star prospect as ranked by Scout.com, as his team hosted Westerville (Ohio) North on Sept. 5. During the contest against the Warriors, Wood found himself tested just once when North threw deep.

On a play-action pass, North's quarterback looked to his target streaking down the middle of the field. For a split second, it appeared the receiver was open, but at the last second Wood made up the extra step and dove, cleanly deflecting the pass with one hand.

It was the only time the Warriors would attempt to go deep. Afterwards, Wood told BuckeyeSports.com that he does occasionally get bored at his position but that it's all part of the game.

"Oh definitely it gets boring, but you're not always going to get action," he said. "Things don't always go your way. You have to continuously play football and when that time comes, you make the play."

That one play seemed to sum up Wood's sentiment. He would add a tackle as he provided some run support, but there were few opportunities to make tackles as Central's linebackers – including Zach Boren, a verbal commitment to Ohio State – seldom allowed opposing ballcarriers to make it far beyond the line of scrimmage.

Plus, a steady downpour during the second half eliminated most thoughts of trying to move the ball through the air.

"It was great football weather," he said. "It wasn't a cold rain, so it didn't really affect us like that. We had to take our gloves off because they were slick, but we played good and finished them off pretty well."

A four-star prospect ranked as the No. 9 safety prospect in the country, Wood also serves as a punt returner and a wide receiver. Despite the rain, he had two catches for 22 yards and returned three punts for 37 yards with a long of 16.

When the 6-2, 190-pound Wood has a chance to make a bit hit, though, he said he thrives on it – and that is one aspect of his game that OSU particularly likes.

"They like that I'm a physical player and I'll hit you wherever I can," he said. "Once I get my hands on you, I'll take you down."

Wood plans on graduating early and enrolling for spring classes at OSU.

"They have a lot of safeties that they'll probably be losing here soon," he said. "Hopefully I can fill that position."

Wood ended his recruitment early when he issued a verbal commitment to the Buckeyes on Feb. 24, becoming verbal commitment No. 8 for the class of 2009. Getting that out of the way has enabled him to simply focus on his senior season without worrying about where he will go to school, he said.

"It helps a lot," he said. "I've heard from a lot of our guys who haven't committed that they're getting phone calls like crazy. I don't have to worry about that. I get my phone call once a week from the Ohio State staff and I'm happy with that."

The day of his team's game against North, Wood and Boren were visited at school by OSU safeties coach Paul Haynes.

"I ask him what's going on and how football is going," Wood said. "He came into school today, so he came and talked to us. We just keep him updated."

Wood also serves as a team captain, a position he knows comes with added responsibility.

"It means being a leader," he said. "You have to lead the team when you don't want to lead the team. You might have to do things you may not want to do. There's perks that come with being a captain, but there's also downfalls. Sometimes you have to take the pain and deal with things."

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