34 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Tanner Wood

Anyone remember Ben Leber? I think Tanner Wood could end up being that sort of player for K-State. - Nick Laham

In which BracketCat counts down the 34th day until kickoff with a profile of defensive end Tanner Wood.


#34 Tanner Wood
True Freshman
6-5 | 235
Conway Springs, Kan.


Position: Defensive End

Previous College: None

Projection: Redshirt

Status: On Scholarship

Tanner Wood — like yesterday's profilee, Jordan Willis — is something of a freak of nature. But unlike Willis, who is a physical freak, Wood is more of a performance freak. What do I mean? The guy goes hard every single play.

Exhibit A: Last fall, Wood set a Kansas high school state record — and the third-best single-game rushing yardage total in national high school history — with a 659-yard, nine-TD effort in Conway Springs' 84-56 win over Chaparral.

That's just stupid, folks. And he didn't do it with speed, but with brute strength and raw willpower. I don't care if the competition is perhaps a little sub-par at the Class 3A level. That's an impressive feat against tackling dummies.

Wood was named the Kansas Gatorade Player of the Year following his senior year and was an All-American honorable mention selection by Parade Magazine.

A four-year letterman who led the Cardinals to a combined record of 45-5 during his high school career, he was ranked by Rivals.com as the No. 2 player in the state of Kansas.

Wood recorded 2,709 rushing yards (almost 700 of which came during his freakazoid game), 43 total touchdowns and 110 tackles during his senior season.

He was named to The Topeka Capital-Journal and VarsityKansas.com 2012 Top 11 team, and was an All-3A first team performer at running back by VarsityKansas.com and at linebacker by the Capital-Journal as a senior.

Wood also was chosen to play in the 2013 Kansas Shrine Bowl after being named a first-team All-Central Plains League performer as a running back and linebacker in 2012.

An all-state pick at linebacker as a junior, he led Conway Springs to a 13-1 record and a Kansas 3A State championship in 2011. Wood also tallied 88 tackles and three interceptions during his junior campaign.

He also was a standout in basketball, and track and field. Although I think Wood will redshirt, he very well could see the field early. He has the potential to become another Monty Beisel or Ben Leber for us. Watch his highlights here.

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