'Tight knit' WSU coaches connect w/ sought DT

THE 2006 DEFENSIVE TACKLES shape up as one of the deepest groups in recent memory at Washington State. But that also means upperclassmen, and for the 2007 class, the Cougs have their eye on one of the stronger players in California, Poway's Nick Wood. The 6-2.5, 280-pound defensive tackle loved his earlier trip to the Palouse, so much so, a return official visit is very likely this fall.

At an L.A. camp earlier this spring, Wood put up 50 reps on the bench with 185 on the bar, easily the top mark at the event. It was his performance in the drills and one-on-ones, however, that was even more impressive.

Last month, Wood, who has clocked a 5.0 in the 40, and his dad traveled to Washington State and Washington, with Wood coming away with a Cougar offer.

"When I went to Washington State, Coach (Bill) Doba, along with four other coaches met me on their day off and gave me a great tour. At the conclusion, they offered me," Wood told Scout.com following the trip. "My family and I are ecstatic about receiving my first Pac-10 offer."

The UW followed suit a month later, with Wood receiving the Huskies' offer in the mail about a week ago.

"I loved them both," Wood told CF.C of his Evergreen state tour. "The head coaches, coach Doba and coach Willingham, those are really quality guys. Out of the two (visits), I didn't have a favorite. Both programs, at the same time, are really different. Both programs just bring a lot of positive qualities in their own way."

WOOD HAS BEEN proactive in his recruitment. The NCAA restricts how and when a school can initiate contact with a recruit but a prospect can call a school at anytime. Wood's recently placed phone calls and sent emails to coaches at Washington State, Boise State, Arizona State, UW, Michigan State and others.

George Yarno is heading up Wood's recruitment for the Cougs.

"He's a great guy, he's awesome," said Wood. "The whole coaching staff there seems really, really tight. Tight knit guys who are all out for each other -- there's a real family feeling with those guys."

IN ADDITION TO the Cougs', Wood has offers from Washington, Arizona State, UTEP, Utah, Boise State, Hawaii, Colorado State and Duke. While the Pac-10 schools might have an edge, Mike Price and schools like UTEP are also in the running.

"I want to say all the Pac-10 schools are standing out but look at Utah, they're awesome. Colorado State is an awesome program. And UTEP, look at the coaches there. Coach Price has been there two years and has two bowl games. So I really like them too," said Wood.

Wood didn't rule out an early decision but said he'd probably want to take all five of his official visits. Nothing is set up as of yet but Wood said Washington State, ASU and Washington look to be three pretty good bets.

Academics plus his "fit" at the school and in the football program will be key to his decision.

WOOD HAS ACHIEVED a qualifying score on the SAT although he wants to take it again to better his 1650 score. Future one-day camp plans look to include include UCLA and Oregon, with a possible visit to Michigan State when he goes to Pennsylvania for a wrestling camp.

As a junior, Wood was a first team all-league at defensive tackle. The plan for 2006 includes him playing on the offensive side of the ball as well.

Nick Wood profile

For CF.C's earlier article on the DT depth for 2006, follow this link:Walker enthused about Cougs' unusual DT depth

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