Steamboat Springs Alex Wood was fresh out of high school and a wide-eyed freshman at the University of Colorado in fall 2009. The former Steamboat Springs High School football star suddenly was wondering whether he would make the cut with the Buffaloes as a walk-on.
He wasn’t even sure he’d see the field.
“I remember talking with some of the older guys, asking them, ‘What do you think my chances are?’” Wood said. “They told me I'd be lucky to get on special teams, so I put that in my head, that maybe if I can get on special teams, I can show them I can play.”
Wood did just that, and it led the way to much more. Now the senior is preparing for his final home game in the gold and black at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Boulder against University of Southern California.
Wood never became a star for Colorado, but he played, and on Friday, he reflected on the entire journey.
“I’m going to remember this as a time when I learned a lot about myself,” he said about his collegiate stint. “It really taught me a lot about myself and the possibilities I have to accomplish things.”
Wood lined up as a fullback for most of his career, and he had his best season as a junior, when he caught seven passes for 103 yards. A change in coaching helped change his role this year, and he spent much of his senior season adjusting to a shift to tight end.
He always has played on special teams; however, and he said he’ll line up with those units in his final game Friday. He hoped to see the field for 10 or 15 offensive plays as a tight end, as well.
“I worked my butt off in the summer and wanted to be the starting tight end, but in the end, I just wasn’t built like a tight end. I was built like a fullback,” he said. “The coaches have been able to use me, though, and as much as I like to line up in the I-formation, I enjoy what I do in this offense, too.”
Wood even stepped up from that walk-on role, earning a scholarship two years ago. He’s hoping to graduate in December with a degree in communication with a business minor. He isn’t looking to go into business, however. Instead, he hopes to stick with football, first as a graduate assistant and maybe someday as a coach.
For now, he’s just hoping to win. Colorado sits at 4-6 on the season with two games remaining. If they win out, Wood could go to his first bowl game.
“All week I’ve been thinking about this,” he said about Senior Day. “Hopefully, I’m not bawling or crying out there on the field with some of my buddies. It will be a special day.”
To reach Joel Reichenberger, call 970-871-4253, email jreichenberger@SteamboatToday.com or follow him on Twitter @JReich9
Join the Yampa Valley VIP email club