PICKERINGTON, Ohio - An emotional Jamie Wood couldn't thank enough people on Wednesday morning as he accepted his invitation to the U.S. Army All-America Bowl. It was a packed house in the gymnasium of Pickerington (Ohio) Central High School as the band played on and Wood put on the Black and Gold of his Army jersey.
The 6-foot-2, 190-pound safety committed to Ohio State more than eight months ago and now has been selected as one of the nation's top 90 players and has earned the right to play in front of the nation in San Antonio on national television.
"It is a big deal and I am honored," Wood said. "I thank God for it, there is nothing else I can say without God none of this would be possible. I want to thank my coaches, teammates, my family and I am really excited for this."
Wood is well aware of the history of the game and rattled off a list of current NFL players who made their first big splash at this game.
Did the future Buckeye ever think in his wildest dreams that one day he would be mentioned in the same breath with so many great players before him?
"I definitely didn't but I had confidence in myself but I didn't think I was going to be this big," Wood said. "The Ohio State thing is one thing and this is just icing to the cake."
Year in and year out the Buckeyes have always been well represented at the game and it will be no different this year with several current commits slated to play in the game and some current members of the team as well.
"There are some former Buckeyes in this game," Wood pointed out. "Ted Ginn, Jr., Chris Wells and Terrelle Pryor as current Buckeyes. It is the best of the best and hopefully I can go out there and compete and make a name for myself."
This game too will give Wood a chance to hook up with some future teammates and get to see what they can do on the field and more importantly get to spend time off of the field with his fellow commits.
"It will be a head start in bonding with them," Wood said. "Justin Green, Dorian Bell, Corey Brown, and John Simon are playing in it. I am just excited to get to know them better and possibly recruit some guys and get some last-minute decisions."
Wood was a little awe-struck by the turnout for the event with a big contingent from the U.S. Army as well as many members of his family. A chant of "Jamie Wood" echoed through the halls in the minutes leading up to the press conference and put a smile on the face of the nervous star.
This game will be the first opportunity for Wood to visit San Antonio and with the game being in January might provide some time away from the elements of the Buckeye state.
"Hopefully it will be a little warmer than Ohio," Wood joked.
This honor will be one more bulls-eye on the chest of Wood but it is all part of the game and Wood notices that teams would rather come at him than shy away from the four-star player.
"They definitely want to come at me and try and prove it," Wood said. "I hear some little remarks from guys but that is just a part of football and the competitive nature of the game."