A Second Final Year For Wood

Jamie Wood did not take long to make a mark on the Pickerington (Ohio) Central football program, and not even a position change could prevent him from becoming a highly recruited athlete. Find out how Wood's first years of high school made him the player he is now -- and why his head coach believes this is Wood's second senior season.

If Jamie Wood has gone through his senior season looking like he has been there before, head coach Jay Sharrett believes there is a good reason.

In the head coach's mind, he already has.

After becoming one of five freshman starters on the varsity team at Pickerington (Ohio) Central and then growing into a more expanded role for the Tigers as a sophomore, Wood began to make waves as a junior.

It was a year that would change Wood in more ways than one.

"That's when I took my biggest leap towards being exposed, getting exposure and people seeing that I have talent," he told BuckeyeSports.com. "I was on the field a lot more, and special teams as well. I became the ‘X' factor."

In addition, it was the first year Wood began lining up in the defensive backfield for the first time since little-league football. The switch from playing wide receiver has apparently paid off, as he is now listed as a four-star prospect and the No. 9 safety in the country.

The year was such a vital one in Wood's growing process that Sharrett said he views it as being worth of capping the prep career for Wood.

"This is almost like his second senior season," Central head coach Jay Sharrett told BSB. "He played like a senior last year and that's how he got the early offer from Ohio State. He's almost enjoying a second senior season."

That second senior season has seen the Tigers capture a conference championship and win their first-round playoff game, a 38-21 decision against Delaware on Nov. 1. But despite all the accolades that have come Wood's way – along with the scholarship offer from the Buckeyes that came three months after his junior season ended – is the fact that the 6-2, 190-pound athlete is in just his second year at the position he will man in college.

While there is plenty of room for growth, Sharrett said OSU is getting a sure tackler and a hard hitter.

"Ohio State took (Wood) as a safety," he said. "If he gets his mitts on you, he's going to tackle you. One of the things that stood out on his junior film was just how good of an open-field tackler he was and how good his hands were for interceptions."

Still, Wood said he realizes he has plenty of room to grow and is looking forward to working with OSU safeties coach Paul Haynes when he gets to college. Wood plans to graduate from high school this January and enroll in spring courses at OSU.

"I think I have a lot more to learn," he said. "I have a ton of stuff to learn, and I think Coach Haynes and the Ohio State staff will be ready to teach me that and I'll be ready to learn whatever.

"We get along. He's a laid-back kind of guy, but of course every coach has this side where they're fiery and everything. I like that in a coach. He has that, but he knows how to switch gears and be the guy you can talk to."

With his commitment out of the way and his eyes focused on a state championship, Wood is aiming to leave behind a significant legacy when he leaves the Wildcats. According to Sharrett, that much is already assured.

"He's just the complete package," the coach said. "School-wise? The complete package. Offense, defense, special teams? The complete package. This guy is the total package."

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