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West Team (roster)
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Rivals.com defensive tackles: No. 36
Rivals.com California top 100: No. 54
With the final spots on the Offense-Defense All-America Bowl being snatched up, Poway, Calif., defensive tackle Nick Wood never thought he'd get the call he received earlier this week from Rivals.com.
The 6-foot-2, 272-pounder thought he was going to be left out in the cold come all-star season. However, when Wood was invited to play in the Jan. 4 game in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., he didn't take long to accept the invitation.
"I didn't know there were any spots still open," Wood said. "There are a lot of good defensive linemen out there. There are tons of kids you could have picked. At first I was like, 'Wow, did that just happen.' It still really hasn't sunk in with me. It's still not really taken effect on me."
But Wood should have a big affect on the game.
Wood is one of the strongest players in the country. He holds the top-bench press rep mark at the NIKE Training Camp this season with 50. His senior film proved to everybody that he's one of the truly elite players in California. Wood says he plans on doing his best in the game that will be broadcast live on ESPNU.
"I was looking at the roster on Rivals.com," Wood said. "Some of the offensive linemen on the East are really big boys, but I'm just as physical as all of them. I have good strength and that's going to allow me to do well. I also play consistent, and I'm a good leader. I think that's going to really help me against all of these talented players.
"This game will be a great opportunity to go out there and test myself against the best players. I'm ready for the challenge."
He's used to tough challenges.
Wood has been on a roller coaster ride this recruiting season. He has taken official visits to Arizona State, Boston College, Colorado and Washington. Two of the schools he visited are looking for new head coaches. He takes his final official visit this weekend to Wake Forest.
"Wake has already been involved with me," Wood said. "I was kind of locked up on the four that I already visited, and we didn't know much about Wake. We got to thinking about it and thought an official visit might be worth it. It was pretty wise for us to go ahead and take an official visit."
As for the other schools on his list still?
"Arizona State is a great team in the Pac 10," Wood said. "I'm anxious to talk to the new coaches and see where they're at. I went to Colorado over the summer and loved everything about it. Washington is a great school, plus it's a Pac 10 school. Coach Willingham is a great coach. I have a tremendous amount of respect for him."
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