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Kansas State Football: Brayden Wood Into The Portal

The Wildcats lost a depth piece at defensive tackle to the portal this afternoon.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: JAN 04 TaxAct Texas Bowl - Kansas State v LSU Photo by Nick Tre. Smith/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Spring practice is in full swing, but one Wildcat is on his way out the door. Defensive tackle Brayden Wood announced that he is entering the transfer portal.

Wood is a former 3* recruit out of Boulder, Colorado from the 2021 recruiting class. He is currently listed at 6’2”, 275 and was competing for a spot in the defensive tackle depth chart. I was high on Wood coming out of high school, but he’s been lost in the shuffle at the defensive tackle position. I understand this transfer. K-State’s changed to more 3 man looks, and now he’s a man without a position. He doesn’t have the length the coaching staff is looking for to play defensive end, and he doesn’t have the girth to play nose tackle. He came in as a bit of a tweener, and he’s stayed a bit of a tweener. He’s best as penetrating 3-tech defensive tackle, but that’s not a position featured all that often in this defense, and honestly, he’s still a bit light for that spot.

Losing Wood shouldn’t hurt too much this year. He was behind Eli Huggins and Jaylen Pickle at defensive tackle, and probably Robert Hentz. It also sounds like redshirt freshman Titus Tuiasosopo is making a big move this spring. While it’s not an issue this year, it does leave the cupboard somewhat empty heading into the 2023-2024 season. Huggins is a super senior, Pickle and Hentz will have the option to move or take his Covid year. It’s possible that Tuiasosopo and Damian Ilalio will be the only defensive tackles returning for the 2023-2024 season. Wood would have, at worst, provided solid depth.

At the same time, I don’t think you’re going to see many players like Wood enter the program in the future. One of the advantages of playing a 3 man front is you don’t have to carry as many defensive tackles. The ones you do carry tend to be more of the nose guard variety. Uso Seumalo, a 6’4”, 305 pound JuCo transfer, was the only defensive tackle in 2022 recruiting class, and I expect players like Seumalo will be the norm moving forward.

I still think Wood has a high upside in the right program, but this might be a case where moving on is the best for everyone involved. We wish Brayden nothing but the best in his future endeavors.