Deacs Strong With CA DL

While Wake Forest coach Jim Grobe has gotten six verbal commitments for the class of 2007 so far, only two play defense and neither of them are defensive linemen. One player who could fill that void is run-stopping defensive tackle Nick Wood.

The 6-foot-2.5-inch, 272-pound Nick Wood, who plays for Poway High School in Poway, Calif., said he has 17 scholarship offers, but nine schools have emerged as his favorites, including Wake Forest.

"My top (nine) right now are probably Arizona State, Colorado, Wake Forest, Boston College, N.C. State, Washington, Oregon State, Utah and UTEP," Wood said.

He added that Colorado, Arizona State, Wake Forest and Boston College have been on him the hardest. While many coaches covet Wood's strength -- he also competes in wrestling and track and field (shot put and discus), and he did 50 reps of 185 pounds at one camp this year -- he also boasts a 3.5 GPA and scored a 1700 on the SAT.

Wood has said that academics are the biggest part of his decision, and that that "definitely" makes schools like Wake Forest and Colorado stand out. Still, he wants to go to a good team also.

"(Academics is) what I'm looking for first and foremost," he said. "But it can't just be lopsided, like really good academics and not a really good program or a good city. I want great academics and great football too. Wherever I can get the best mix of the three."

Wood was at Wake Forest for a camp this summer, and came away with a good impression of the school.

"I loved it," he said. "It's hard to explain (what i liked). It just seems kind of cozy in terms of how it's such a small student body. I really liked what I saw."

Whichever school ends up getting Wood will have a solid player -- he was a first-team All Palomar League selection in 2005 -- as well as a solid student.

"Wherever I decide to go, I can guarantee they'll get 100 percent in the classroom, offseason, everything," he says.

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