Eric Wood played for the Cardinals from 2004-2008 and is easily one of the best Offensive Linemen to ever play for Louisville. In 2005, he was named a Rivals.com Freshman All-American and started 12 games at Center. He went on to start in all 49 games that he played in, which is the 2nd longest streak at UofL behind Travis Leffew, who had 51.
He was also Second-team All-Big East in 2006 and First-team All-Big East in both 2007 and 2008.
He then went on and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the 2009 draft. He was drafted in the 1st round and 28th overall! He has played both Guard and Center with the Bills, and has dealt with injuries in his 3 year NFL career to this point. We talked with Eric about his days at UofL, injuries, and more!
CSZ: What have you been doing since your days at UofL?
Eric: I have been playing for the Buffalo Bills for the past three years and have enjoyed it greatly. It’s not all the glitz and glamor that most people believe it is, but I have been able to experience a lot of things in the past three years that I didn’t think I ever would. I am encouraged by the progress I have made as a player in the past few years, just wish I could have avoided the injuries. I guess it really is just part of the business, which I hear quite often.
: Had you ever had a serious injury like your torn ACL? And what went through your head when you knew it was that type of injury?
Eric: I tore my ACL in week ten of the NFL season last year and it was not nearly as painful as the broken tib/ fib I suffered in 2009, but it requires nearly the same recovery time. I worked with UofL’s trainers daily at the facility and made great progress. I really enjoy the atmosphere up there. Beats going to a rehab facility and working out with a bunch of 70+ year olds.
CSZ: What was your favorite game or memory as a Cardinal? Also worst game/memory?
Eric: My favorite game at UofL was probably the Orange Bowl. It was such a great experience down there and getting the win helped. The Miami game and the WVU blackout game were two awesome games to play in as well. Going back home to Cincinnati by junior year and beating a ranked Bearcats team was a sweet victory as well. The worst game was probably the Rutgers game in 2008. It was the last game of my senior year and we got a whooping from them up there. The Rutgers loss two years earlier was tough as well, squashing our national title hopes.
: What do you miss most about the city of Louisville or just the college life?
Eric: I miss my teammates from Louisville that have moved away. I still stay in contact with many of them and still see them when they come back to town, but it was tough saying goodbye to that time of my life where our only cares were school and football.
CSZ: Do you still keep up with how the team is doing, and what do you think of the current staff?
Eric: I follow the Cards closely still. I love the staff that they have in place. From the training staff, equipment managers, strength coaches, etc, I feel that Coach Strong and Tom Jurich have done a great job. I am very excited about the future of Cardinal football, which I’m sure many others feel the same.
CSZ: What is the biggest difference between the college and NFL game?
Eric: The biggest difference from college ball to the NFL is that everyone on the field is good. In college you had weeks where you weren’t too worried about the competition. In the NFL, that is far from reality and you can never let your guard down.
CSZ:If you could say something to the fans, what would that be?
Eric: Keep supporting UofL athletics like you always have. I love the fans and they have always treated me well. I am now a fan as well and I can be found going as wild as anyone at all the home basketball games now that I’m a season ticket holder.
We thank Eric for taking time to answer these questions for us, and we look forward to keeping up with him in the NFL!