LEXINGTON, Ky. – Last Thursday night, junior dual-threat quarterback Walker Wood issued his verbal commitment to his hometown school, Kentucky. Off to a 7-2 start so far in 2015, Wood is looking to lead his team on a deep playoff run as Lafayette High automatically qualified for the playoffs.
“It’s been pretty good,” Walker told Today’s U. “We are improving each week. Our offense is looking good. We’ve got some young guys on offense that have really grown this season and we have a really good line that knows how to block. They make my life a lot easier.”
Standing at 6-foot 180-pounds, Wood is listed as a 3-star prospect and the No. 22 dual-threat passer in the country according to 247Sports.com. With the majority of his junior campaign in the books, Wood described his game and what kind of passer the Kentucky program will receive in a year and a half.
“I know I have improved a pretty good amount from last year,” Wood said. “Especially throwing the ball and seeing the field in the pass game a lot better. I’ve always been a pretty good runner because it’s just been instinctive for me, so that’s never been too hard my whole high school career. Last year I struggled in the pass game and I would rather take my one-on-one shots with less reads and things like that. I’m getting a lot better reading defenses and knowing what I see and how to take advantage of what it gives me.”
With more experience to his resume, Wood has noticed steady improvement as he develops as a quarterback. As a result, several programs showed interest in the 3-star recruit throughout the process and the recent Kentucky pledge shared his thoughts on the recruiting process.
“It was going pretty well,” Wood said. “I didn’t focus too much on it because our head coach handles most of that. I went on visits here and there in the summer, but I hadn’t gone to any except for UK. I haven’t gone anywhere else in-season, but I also had offers from Cincinnati and Louisville. I was also getting interest from a bunch of other schools like Ohio, Indiana, Wake Forest, Pittsburgh and Mississippi State. Everything was going pretty well, but I fell in love with Kentucky.”
Since so many schools were showing interest, Wood chose to follow his instincts, just as he does when a play breaks down, and decided to go with the school that presented the best path to the field.
“I just let my gut make the decision,” Wood said. “I was sitting there in my coach’s office one day and I just felt like Kentucky was the place. It’s a real family atmosphere over there. I feel like whatever you do after college, you meet family over [at Kentucky]. It’s just cool to grow up in this town, then to be able to play football for the home town.”
Growing up in Lexington, Wood has had a front-row seat to watch the Kentucky program over the last few years. According to Wood, Wildcats head coach Bob Stoops has the program moving in a positive direction.
“I think coach Stoops and his staff are doing a great job,” Wood said. “They have Kentucky football on a good road right now. They are in a rebuilding process, but I think they are doing a great job of it landing good recruits and coaching who they have right now. They have a lot of talent on the team and I think they’re doing a great job with it.”
With so much time remaining until Wood will be on campus as a Wildcats player, the Kentucky coaching staff hasn’t had a chance to preview the offensive style just yet.
“I think offenses in college football change a little bit every year,” Wood said. “I don’t know exactly what they’ll be doing or how it will go. I haven’t really focused on that yet. Right now I’m just focusing on what my offense is doing in high school and getting better at things like that. We always talk X’s and O’s and football when I’m over there. We have a great time soaking up knowledge they have and learning from them, but particularly we haven’t talked about what I would be doing or what the offense would be doing.”
Since Wood committed to Kentucky so recently, the junior quarterback hasn’t formed a solid plan as to whether he will take visits to different colleges or not.
“I still would have to talk to my head coach about that,” Wood said. “I would probably still take a couple visits here and there with Jedrick [Willis] because that’s who I usually go with on visits and I know he’s still going to take a couple, but I am firmly committed to Kentucky and I have no intentions of going anywhere else.”
Including the addition of Wood, the Kentucky recruiting class now sits at No. 9 in the country according to 247Sports.