The Oklahoman's Super 30: College recruiters sizing up Verdigris' Austin Woods
Verdigris head football coach Travis East has a simple answer when asked why college recruiters are interested in offensive lineman Austin Woods.
“He is really big,” East said. “God doesn’t make many people that big.”
Woods is 6-7, weighs 265 pounds, and has room to grow.
“We can put another 30 pounds on him and he will be a monster,” East said.
Woods is No. 27 on The Oklahoman’s Super 30 list of the top high school recruits in the state. On Monday, Woods made a verbal commitment to Arkansas State, although he said would still listen to other schools if they came calling.
“I wouldn’t mind if people kept offering me, but I plan to be done,” he said. “But if there is an offer that would suit me right, I don’t know what I would do.”
But as of now, Woods plans on taking his size and skills to play for the Red Wolves.
“The people, the facilities, the coaches, it really fit me,” Woods said of Arkansas State. “The facilities were the best thing. They just built everything brand new. I wanted to commit somewhere before I started my senior year so I could focus on my senior year.”
Woods will be a four-year starter this season for Verdigris, playing both offensive tackle and defensive end, but it is his play and potential in the offensive line that has college recruiters salivating.
East was promoted from defensive coordinator at Verdigris to head coach when Woods became a freshman.
“As a freshman he was a big kid, but like every freshman he needed to hit the weight room a little more and has done that,” East said. “He’s worked hard in the weight room and developed where he became a difference maker for us.”
East said Woods has probably gained 40 pounds since his freshman season.
“He’s gotten a lot stronger, a lot quicker and became a man,” East said.
East first knew Woods could be a special player while watching film of a preseason scrimmage before his sophomore season.
“We had some tape early on of him making a combo block, a double-team block, then climbing up to the next level and putting a safety on his back,” East said. “We were sitting there watching it, myself and the offensive coordinator, and we kind of looked at each other (and realized) he has got a chance to play college football.
“Even for that size, he is pretty athletic. He plays first base and pitches in baseball. He is an athletic big man and that’s what a lot of these colleges see.”
Woods’ summer has been filled with recruiting visits to colleges and weight room workouts. He spends at least four mornings every week in the weight room for regularly-scheduled lifting.
“Occasionally I will do an extra one on a Friday or Saturday,” Woods said. “I take Sundays off.”
Woods likely will continue to get bigger in college, but he doesn’t have an ideal weight in mind.
“I don’t really care weight-wise, whatever they want me to be that is what I am going to try to be, but I just want to be really strong,” he said.
Woods also will be a four-year starter in baseball for Verdigris, but football is his passion.
Asked what he likes most about playing football, Woods replied: “The fact you can go hit somebody and not get in trouble for it. I like that.”
The Oklahoman’s Super 30
Name: Austin Woods
Super 30 ranking: 27
Position: Offensive tackle/Defensive end
Committed to: Arkansas State
The Oklahoman’s Super 30
The Oklahoman’s Super 30 feature series will spotlight each high school football player on the Super 30 recruit rankings for the 2019 class through July 21. The series continued Saturday with No. 27, Verdigris offensive lineman Austin Woods. See Nos. 26 and 25 on the list in Sunday’s editions of The Oklahoman.
Here are the players we’ve featured so far:
No. 30: Phillip Smitherman, DB, Heritage Hall
No. 29: Zachary Dortch, RB, Putnam North
No. 28: Gabriel Cantu, OL, Tulsa Union
No. 27: Austin Woods, OL, Verdigris