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34 DAYS TO KICKOFF: Tanner Wood

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


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


Position: Defensive End

Previous College: None

Projection: Second-String

Status: On Scholarship

Tanner Joe Wood (b. Nov. 11, 1994) is a talented defensive end who used the 2013 season to redshirt and develop. He will compete to become a part of the regular playing rotation in 2014, almost by sheer necessity.

Wood is a performance freak of nature. What do I mean? The guy goes hard every single play.

Exhibit A: In 2012, 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 insane, 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 under head coach Matt Biehler who led the Cardinals to a combined record of 45-5 during his high school career, Wood was ranked by as the No. 2 player in the state of Kansas in 2012.

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. Watch his highlights here.

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

Wood 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. With a grayshirt and a redshirt both under his belt, Wood very well could see the field early. He has the potential to become another Monty Beisel or Ben Leber for us.