By Jared Tucker: PNT staff writer
Wes Wood has gone from backup to the heir apparent at Eastern New Mexico University in a little more than a year.
Wood, who led Muleshoe to the school’s only state football championship in 2008, has been called the frontrunner to replace J.J. Harp following spring drills, according to ENMU’s coaching staff.
Greyhound head coach Mark Ribaudo wouldn’t say that Wood has been named the starter, because it wouldn’t be fair to do so before two-a-day workouts begin in August. But he conceded that Wood, who completed 55 of 98 passes for 492 yards and five touchdowns in seven games last season, is the leading candidate.
Draco Miller, an offensive line coach at ENMU, said this spring Wood, who will be a sophomore in the fall, showed he was the right man for the job operating the Hounds’ spread offense.
“He stepped in this spring, and did a phenomenal job of moving the offense up and down the field,” Miller said.
The Hounds are coming off a 3-8 season in which they set numerous offensive passing records.
Harp, who set numerous school records last fall as a sophomore, but was dismissed from the team following the season for breaking team rules.
Wood said becoming the starting quarterback has been a dream of his growing up, but closing in on it still doesn’t feel real.
“It’s always what I wanted to do, but it’s still kind of surreal,” Wood said. “I’m kind of nervous still.”
Wood said the team is better as a whole heading into the fall because they have become closer in the offseason.
“I think that’s what you lose at a college level,” said Wood, who played for his father, David Wood, and led Muleshoe to the Class 2A Division I championship. “You’re not as close as you were in high school because you saw each other everyday in class,” Wood said.
As a high school senior, Wood led the Mules to a 15-0 season and threw for 4,540 yards and 64 touchdowns.