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Eric Wood

For the founder of the American Legion, see Eric Fisher Wood. For the Australian rules football player, see Eric Woods.
Eric Wood
Eric Wood, September 2013
No. 70     Buffalo Bills
Center
Personal information
Date of birth: (1986-03-18) March 18, 1986 (age 28)
Place of birth: Cincinnati, Ohio
Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)Weight: 310 lb (141 kg)
Career information
High school: Cincinnati (OH) Elder
College: Louisville
NFL Draft: 2009 / Round: 1 / Pick: 28
Debuted in 2009 for the Buffalo Bills
Career history

Roster status: Active
Career highlights and awards

  • First-team Freshman All-American (2005)
  • Second-team All-Big East (2006)
  • 2× First-team All-Big East (2007, 2008)
Career NFL statistics as of Week 5, 2013

Eric Wood (born March 18, 1986) is an American football center for the Buffalo Bills. He was the team's second pick in the first round of the 2009 NFL Draft (28th overall). After starting his team's first 10 games of the 2009 NFL season, he suffered a season-ending injury on November 22, 2009.[1] Wood played his collegiate football at the University of Louisville.

High school career

Wood attended Elder High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, where played both the tackle and guard positions. His team went 28-2 over the last two seasons, including two consecutive state titles. After playing tight end as a junior, Wood started all 15 games at offensive tackle in his senior year and earned first team All-League honors.

Considered a two-star recruit by both Rivals.com and Scout.com,[2][3] Wood was not ranked among the nation's top offensive line prospects. He chose Louisville over Bowling Green, Ohio, Cincinnati, Indiana and Columbia.

College career

After redshirting his initial year at Louisville, Wood started all 12 games at center for the Cardinals in 2005. He earned Freshman All-American honors by Rivals.com, Sporting News and College Football News. Also an excellent student, earned Academic All-Big East accolades as well.

Wood remained Louisville's starting center in his sophomore and junior seasons, starting all 13 and 12 games, respectively. Led by quarterback Brian Brohm, the 2007 Cardinals offense ranked sixth nationally with an average of 488.0 yards per game. Wood earned All-Big East honors in both years, and again in his senior season. He finished his career with 49 consecutive starts at center, the second-longest streak in school history behind Travis Leffew (51, 2002–05).

Professional career

2009 NFL Draft

Alongside Alex Mack, Wood was considered one of the best centers available in the 2009 NFL Draft.[4] He has been compared to Brad Meester by The Sporting News,[5] but his instincts and "nastiness" on the field had 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.[6]

Wood was selected with the 28th pick of the 2009 NFL Draft by the Buffalo Bills. With Mack being selected with the 21st pick by the Cleveland Browns, at marked the first time two centers were drafted in round one since the 1983 NFL Draft, with Dave Rimington and Don Mosebar.

Buffalo Bills

Counted on to start at right guard, Wood joined a completely retooled Bills offensive line that was expected to feature two rookie starters—him, and second round pick Andy Levitre at left guard—and no players returning at the same position. On July 28, 2009, Wood signed a five-year contract with the Bills, reportedly worth more than $12 million.[7]

Wood immediately became the Bills starting right offensive guard next to center Geoff Hangartner, with Levitre at left guard.[8] On November 22, 2009, in his 10th game, Wood sustained a compound fracture of the tibia and fibula in the fourth quarter of an 18–15 loss to the Jacksonville Jaguars in week 11,[9] after Jaguars DT Montavious Stanley ran into Wood's leg.[1] Wood underwent season-ending surgery in a Jacksonville hospital and did not return to Buffalo with the team. He was placed on the injured reserve list on November 24, 2009.

On March 30, 2010, Wood told the Buffalo Bills that his leg was healing well and that he gave it an 80% chance to be ready for training camp.[10] He eventually started 14 games in the 2010 NFL season, missing only Steelers and Vikings games because of an ankle injury.[11] The Bills were playing the same trio up the middle: Wood at right guard, Hangartner at center, and Levitre at left guard.[12]

In 2011, Wood was switched to center, between Levitre and new starting right guard Kraig Urbik.[13] These three have been instrumental in the resurgence in the Bills offense, led by Ryan Fitzpatrick at quarterback and Fred Jackson at running back. However, he was hurt in game 9 and did not play the rest of the year, replaced first by Urbik and then by Colin Brown.

References

External links

  • Buffalo Bills bio
  • Louisville Cardinals bio
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