Not many recruits have the privilege of sitting in Jim Tressel’s office on one day and then Joe Paterno’s the very next. That was indeed the case this past weekend for D.J. Woods of Strongsville High School who netted one scholarship offer from Penn State in the process.
Woods arrived a little late to Penn State’s camp on Saturday but he quickly learned that the staff there valued him a great deal for his receiving prowess.
“We got there right during the one-on-one’s and I started doing a couple of one-on-one’s and I was doing really good,” Woods said. “It wasn’t long before a coach came up to me and said that they would like to offer.”
So they offered the 6' 0″, 175-pound speedster as a wide receiver.
“They said they liked my speed and my cutting (ability) and how I was catching the ball,” Woods said. “It felt good to get a Penn State offer. It felt really nice.”
He was elated to earn an offer while he was in Happy Valley.
“Yeah I was very happy to get an offer from Penn State,” Woods said. “I went up there with a lot of hope and determination to get an offer from Penn State so it worked out good.”
In addition to Penn State now, Woods claims to have offers from schools like Nebraska, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Michigan State and Iowa with a “maybe” on a Michigan offer and a “maybe” on Ohio State.
Woods camped at Ohio State on Friday after he camped at Michigan on the Tuesday before that. He left both places without receiving an offer.
“I thought it went really good at Ohio State,” he said. “I went there to strictly get work on defense. I got a lot of coaching-up there. I did really good on the drills and in the one-on-one’s, me and (DeVier) Posey would go at each other so it went really good.”
He felt that they were looking at him really close during the camp.
“Coach Johnson was there and he would talk to me a lot,” Woods said. “I felt like a lot of eyes were on me while I working with the DBs.”
Woods spent some extra time with Johnson after the drills.
“During the workouts Coach Johnson said ‘make sure you come and see me after everything,’ ” Woods said. “So I had a talk with Coach Johnson for a little bit and he was talking to me about my skills at corner and what I need to work on and stuff. And then he said ‘we want to take you to Coach Tressel so you can sit down and get a good feel for him and the program at Ohio State.’ ”
So Woods and his mom and dad got to meet with Tressel and they were alone with him in his office.
“It was exciting just to sit down and talk to Coach Tressel,” Woods said. “It was a really good experience for me. I felt really special just to sit down and talk to Coach Tressel one-on-one and get some input about their program from him. It was really nice.”
Woods had a similar chance to sit down and chat with Coach Paterno at Penn State.
“When I got there and got the offer, things started to slow down a little bit,” Woods said. “And then after that, one of the coaches said that they wanted to take me to Coach Paterno’s office. I was shocked because to sit down with Coach Paterno was like an honor to me. So that went really nice too.”
The whole recruiting process has been really nice and somewhat of a whirlwind for the unassuming two-way star for the Mustangs ever since he first ripped-off a 4.35-second 40 time at a Nike combine in Florida back in January.
“It’s really amazing for me that I get to sit down with all these coaches and get a feel for them,” Woods said. ” I, honestly, just feel blessed about everything that is going on. I feel really good about everything.”
As far as his situation with Ohio State is concerned Woods left their camp, after meeting with Tressel, without any real indication of whether or not an imminent offer is headed his way.
“Because they have limited offers they have to go back and talk as a staff and make sure that they make the right choices,” Woods said. “But they said that I should know something in about a week or two.”
Woods would eventually like to make his final decision on what school that he’ll attend by sometime in December at the latest.
“I feel like I’m going to make my decision before Christmas time,” he said. “I want to take all of my official visits and get a good look at every school so that I make sure that I make the right choice.”
He clearly has no favorite in this race right now.
“I feel like I’m wide open at this point,” Woods said. “I have no idea about any college right now because every place I’ve been to I’ve really liked. At the end it’s going to be a really hard choice for me.”
He’s certainly ready for everything with respect to recruiting to slow down over the summer.
“I think I’m going to take a break right now from any visits or anything and just focus on my football team and lifting and all that stuff,” Woods said. “I think it will be good to give everything a chance to calm down.”
Woods definitely has a lot to think about including which position he’ll eventually settle on and whether that choice will impact his final decision or not. He has indicated in the past that wide receiver seems to be his more natural position.
“I’ve been trying to get a feel for both offense and defense because I don’t know what position that I do want to play yet,” said Woods who mentioned that he is still trying to establish a real comfort level at both wide receiver and cornerback. “So at some point I’m going to have sit down and talk about everything with my family.”
Clearly Woods and his family have quite a lot to talk about. And it seems like the options for Woods just keep getting better all the time.
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