Local standout, Viking leader

Juston Wood has been the starting quarterback for two years now at Portland State. He has led the Vikings to a winning record both years as the man making the big decisions and big plays. Unfortunately for Wood, it is his senior season, but he has had a great career and experience and Portland State.

“If someone asked me what I would do over again here at PSU, I wouldn’t do anything different. I’ve had a fabulous social experience and made a ton of great life-long friends,” Wood said sincerely.

This season, Wood has thrown for 1,937 total yards and completed 158-of-289 passes. He has a total of 12 touchdowns and 12 interceptions. His completion percentage is right around 55 percent, and he’s averaging 193.7 yards per game through the air. The team’s record is 6-4, but it could very easily be at 8-2 or even 9-1, because it has lost some very close ball games. Wood puts up 295 pounds on bench press, runs a 4.65 40-yard dash and squats around 445 pounds.

To help himself succeed in college, Wood began early on. He sprung into a well-rounded athletic career at David Douglas High School in Portland.

Wood grew up in the Portland area with his parents Dan and Dana and brother Darren. Attending David Douglas High School in Southeast Portland, he was a tri-sport athlete, participating in basketball, football and baseball. He excelled in all three, helping the teams succeed while achieving individual accolades. Wood’s football team, for which he was a quarterback, made the playoffs his senior year, and his basketball team was a co-league champ.

Wood was also an All-Conference baseball selection. He graduated valedictorian of his class with a 4.0 grade point average and was a finalist for the scholar athlete award for the National Football Foundation in 1997-98.

Wood praises Brett Favre as his favorite NFL player because of how competitive he is and what “savvy” he brings to the field. In his spare time, Wood enjoys hanging out with his friends, going out to have a good time, or playing pool or Play Station 2.

His major is public health education in health sciences, leading into pre-med, and his minor is business. Perhaps the most impressive part of Wood’s academic accomplishments is his GPA, which is close to 3.8.

Wood recalls a few instances in which his team prevailed in the end as his greatest sports moments. In high school, when he threw a winning touchdown pass to his best friend as time ticked off the clock to get into the playoffs against arch rival Barlow was one special moment that sticks with Wood.

Also, last year, when Wood drove the team down the field in the closing seconds of the game against NAU to kick a field goal for the win with no time left. The game against Idaho State this season had a similar outcome.

In the future, Wood sees himself continuing on with the game of football if at all possible. He would like to attend graduate school sometime along the line but first needs to figure out what career he would like to pursue.

“I’d like to keep playing or coaching. I love the game a lot, so I’d like to stay a part of it,” he said.