Eric Wood #70 C
Height: 6-4 Weight: 310 Age: 27
Born: 3/18/1986 Cincinnati , OH
Experience: 5th season
High School: Elder HS [Cincinnati, OH]
Selected By: Buffalo Bills
Pick (Overall): 28 (28)
Wood is the picture of durability. The unquestioned leader of the Cardinals' front wall, he finished his career with 49 consecutive starts at center, the second-longest streak in school history behind Travis Leffew (51, 2002-05). It was also the sixth-longest streak among active NCAA players last season, topped by Andrew Hartline of Central Michigan (51), Andrew Gardner of Georgia Tech (51), Jason Phillips of Texas Christian (50), Dallas Reynolds of Brigham Young (50) and Clint Sintim of Virginia (50).
Called by many the "most prepared player in the nation," Wood has been known to be found in the wee hours of the morning still examining game tapes in the film room, preparing for his upcoming opponent. He not only brings incredible knowledge and instincts to the field, but plays with the true nastiness that has scouts comparing him to the NFL's old time centers like Mike Webster of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Tim Grunhard of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Performing as his team's Iron Man is nothing new for Wood. He started every game in his final two seasons at Elder High School, as the team compiled a 28-2 record during that span. As a 15-game starter at offensive tackle, he guided the school to its second straight state title with a 31-7 win over St. Edward's High as a senior, picking up all-league first-team accolades.
As a junior, Wood started at both offensive guard and tackle, in addition to lining up at tight end, earning all-district honorable mention. He also earned a pair of letters playing on the basketball team, picking up all-league recognition during his final campaign.
Wood enrolled at Louisville in 2004, turning down scholarship offers from Bowling Green, Ohio University, Cincinnati, Indiana and Columbia. He spent that season performing on the scout team, but a stellar performance in 2005 spring drills earned him the starting center position, a job he would maintain throughout his playing career. He was a consensus Freshman All-American, adding Academic All-Big East Conference honors, as he delivered 85 knockdowns and had touchdown-resulting blocks on nine of the team's 41 scores on the ground.
As a sophomore, Wood received All-Big East Conference second-team recognition. He started all 13 games, registering 79 knockdowns to go with 10 touchdown-resulting blocks. He made all the line calls, as the offense ranked second in the country, averaging 475.31 yards per game. He also posted a pair of tackles.
In 2007, Wood led the nation's sixth-ranked offense, picking up All-Big East first-team honors. He collected 86 knockdowns and 11 touchdown-resulting blocks. He was one of the few bright spots on a turnover-prone offense, grading 83.25 percent for blocking consistency. He helped the team average 488.0 yards per game, but the Cardinals' running game was halted, placing 64th in the country (146.08 ypg) after finishing 12th the previous season (185.31 ypg).
For the second season in a row, Louisville failed to make the bowl season in 2008. Wood continued his stellar play, receiving third-team All-American and first-team All-Big East honors. The offense scored only 34 times, with Wood ranking second among the nation's centers with 16 touchdown-resulting blocks. He graded 87.08 percent for blocking consistency and made 78 knockdowns as the Cardinals averaged 376.67 yards per game. He also recorded an assisted tackle.