July 1, 2009

Woods gets down to a final one

It's been a week to the day since Rockwall (Texas) Heath four-star center Austin Woods announced he had a final five of Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, TCU, and Texas Tech. The 6-foot-5, 290-pound offensive lineman seemed destined to take at least a few weeks before he was ready to make his announcement of which of his five finalist would be his collegiate home.

However it seems that even while announcing his final five Woods was already thinking about his number one.

"We concluded all our trips and saw the things that we wanted to see and Oklahoma was the place with the tradition, the facilities, it just had everything could want," Woods said.

"It was definitely after the camp when I started thinking Oklahoma. Coming home and talking to my parents afterward about the campus. It was great getting to be around coach James Patton, coach Josh Heupel and coach Bob Stoops.

"I've been talking to my parents and praying about it a lot for the past few weeks. We talk about it at the dinner table, my decision has been in the works for a while."

Though Woods says that his decision has been heading in Oklahoma's direction for quite some time that shouldn't be taken to mean that this was an obvious choice for the Northeast Dallas star.

"My top five was very close, it was the toughest decision that I've ever made," he said. "Oklahoma was right for me, it was close but Oklahoma is the place.

"I called the coaches in my top five, the schools I didn't commit to. I called them so that I could thank them for the opportunity; it was hard turning them down. You have to tell them thank you but they have to move on too."

Though Woods had not had a chance as of yet to talk with offensive line coach James Patton he says the chance to speak with Josh Heupel only reaffirmed his decision as Oklahoma's quarterback coach was certainly pleased about landing Oklahoma's top potential battery mate for his signal callers.

"I talked to coach Heupel this afternoon. I'm going to call coach Patton in a minute actually and coach Stoops," he said. "He was fired up, he said it was great to have another Sooner and he was pretty excited."

When Woods came up for Oklahoma's camp on June 10 he quickly made an impression both on onlookers and coaches as well as Sooner commitments Bronson Irwin and Tyrus Thompson.

The three haven't stayed in much contact since the camp but Woods said when word got out that he elected to become a Sooner Irwin didn't waste much time getting in touch.

"I haven't heard from them since the camp but a few minutes ago Bronson texted me and said congratulations. We've kind of been texting back and forth since then," Woods recalled.

The entire recruiting process, in which Woods picked up over 20 division-one scholarship offers, is something that the coach's son admits to having enjoyed but is now in the past. Woods now is currently focused on Heath having another tremendous season following last year's state quarterfinal run.

"Oh man it's a crazy experience but it's a really great experience not many kids have the chance to be recruited. It's fun and I'm glad it happened to me but now that it's over I can move on and focus on my season," he said. "We lost a lot of people but we had some guys step up big in the spring and we've been working hard this summer and we're looking pretty good."

In many cases Woods might find it difficult to keep coaches at bay even with such a public announcement and forthright way of handling his commitment. However, as a Heath coach's son he may find it much easier to let things settle back down to normal.

As a coach's son he also has been taking notice of the type of talent that has been accumulating in Norman for the class of 2010 and seems to feel right at home with the numerous four-star prospects that have already cast their lot with Bob Stoops and staff.

But don't expect him to start adding prospects to his contact list in his phone as so many of his fellow commitments have.

"You know actually we have a good class going right now," he said. "I'm not a big talker but if I need to say something to a guy we're recruiting, I'll say something. Off the field I'm pretty laid back, if something needs to be said I'll say it."

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