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59 DAYS TO 2021 KICKOFF: Brayden Wood

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In which BracketCat counts down the 59th day until the 2021 kickoff with a profile of Kansas State defensive tackle Brayden Wood.

#59 Drew Wiley
Drew Wiley’s (59) graduation has opened up his No. 59 jersey and a defensive tackle position for highly touted incoming freshman Brayden Wood.
Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

NOTE: Kansas State has elected to advance players’ classification even though the 2020 season did not affect eligibility. Those who wish to take advantage of this extra year will be listed as a (“super”) senior again after their original eligibility would have been exhausted.

#59 Brayden Wood

True Freshman | 6-2 | 275 lbs. | Niwot, Colorado
Brayden Wood
Brayden Wood
Courtesy Kansas State Athletics
  • Position: Defensive Tackle
  • Previous College: None
  • Projection: Redshirt
  • Status: On Scholarship

Brayden Wood (b. April 22, 2002) is a disruptive defensive end/tackle prospect who plans on majoring in business administration and probably will redshirt during the 2021 season.

He committed in December 2020, enrolled early at K-State and was able to participate in 2021 spring practices.

A four-year starter at Fairview (Colorado) High School under head coach Tom McCartney, Wood was rated as the 55th-best strongside defensive end in the Class of 2021 by Rivals and 59th-best overall defensive end by ESPN after concluding his career with 292 tackles.

He also was viewed as the fourth-best prospect in the state of Colorado by ESPN.

Wood was named a 2020 honorable mention All-American by Sports Illustrated, while he was a preseason all-state pick by Colorado Prep Report.

He finished his senior season with 58 tackles, 16 tackles for loss and three sacks for the Knights in just seven games, earning first team all-state honors, claiming a third-straight all-conference honor and being named the conference’s Most Valuable Player.

Wood also was named the BoCoPreps.com Defensive Player of the Year and a second-team all-state honoree in 2019 after totaling 116 total tackles, including 18 tackles for loss, helping Fairview to earn a 10-2 record and a trip to the state playoffs.

He also earned Defensive Lineman of the Year honors from Colorado Prep Report and was a first team all-region honoree in 2019.

Wood comes from a long lineage of successful college athletes:

  • His father, Brent, played football at Baylor.
  • His uncle, Ryan, played at Arizona State and was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in 1996.
  • His grandfather, Warren, played football at Colorado State.
  • Another uncle, Marc, played at Illinois State.
  • His brother, Austin, played baseball at Furman.

A consensus three-star player by most recruiting services, Wood chose K-State over scholarship offers from Arizona State, Boise State, Colorado State, Hawaii, Louisville, Missouri, Syracuse, Texas Tech, UNLV and Washington State, as well as interest from Baylor, California, Clemson, Colorado, Michigan, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Stanford, TCU, UCLA, USC and Washington.

His primary recruiters were quarterbacks coach Collin Klein and defensive tackles coach Mike Tuiasosopo, his new position coach.

Here’s what Drew had to say recently about Wood’s potential as either an end or tackle:

This grade comes down to where guys like Brayden Wood (DT) and Gaven Haselhorst (ILB) end up eventually. Wood is currently a defensive tackle, but I see some Wyatt Hubert in his skill set, and depending on what the coaching staff is looking for, is a guy that could bounce between the 3-tech defensive tackle and strongside defensive end.