It looked like wide out Zy’Aire Hughes might have been just a bit outside the end zone on a ruled touchdown late in Kentucky’s final spring scrimmage.
That didn’t matter one bit to the player who threw the pass, former Lafayette star Walker Wood: “I’ll take the touchdown and go, baby.”
Wood would’ve taken pretty much any result as long as he could be back on the field playing again after sitting out for nearly 18 months with injuries and three different surgeries.
“It was great,” Wood said of his four passes in the Blue-White Spring Game on Friday night. He connected on three of those for 37 yards and the score. “It was a blessing to be out there again playing football. It was my first close to live snaps since my senior year of high school.”
There’s been plenty of rust for Wood to knock off this spring as he’s worked his way back from the rehab room to the football field.
He’s still breaking in his throwing shoulder, which was surgically repaired. Just four or five days into fall camp in August, Wood realized something didn’t feel quite right. An MRI revealed a torn bicep, which doctors fixed.
“After that second shoulder surgery, it was hard to come back,” Wood said. “It was very frustrating. … I’m feeling a lot better, a lot closer to normal.”
There were moments in those closing minutes of the scrimmage on Friday that quarterbacks coach Darin Hinshaw was able to see the Wood who made huge plays for Lafayette, finishing his career with 8,230 passing yards and 74 touchdowns along with 4,199 rushing yards and 73 scores.
“He’s been really nipping at trying to get out there,” Hinshaw said of Wood. “It was good to see him throw the ball with a little bit more zip than he had been, so that was good to see. He’s overcoming that shoulder injury.”
Wood and Hinshaw are hopeful that by the end of summer as the team goes into fall camp that the quarterback will be back in his comfort zone: making plays on the field.
“Tonight was really good for me,” Wood smiled. “I enjoyed it.”