Woods appreciates the candid Lawing

There is a lot to learn about the recruiting process for high school athletes. Some catch on to things faster than others. Some are forced to because their recruiting takes off so fast. Whatever the case, Ocala (Fla.) Trinity Catholic defensive end Jordan Woods seems to have his head on straight and likes straight talk from college coaches.

We caught up with Jordan Woods at the 2014 Ocala 7on7 Invitational this past weekend where the 6-foot-4, 230 pounder was racing down the field making catches over the heads of opponents as a tight end for the Marion County All-Stars. He won't be doing it much in high school, but Woods has a good time playing receiver.

"A lot of times I tell my coach to put me at receiver, just to do something a little different," Woods said with a laugh about his high school team. "I do a little blocking and every once in a while I go out for a pass."

His latest two offers have come from Cincinnati and Florida Atlantic and his offer list stands at 15 for the time being. That isn't too bad for a kid in the middle of his sophomore year of high school. He says FAU, Florida, Florida State, and South Carolina seem to be the schools recruiting him the hardest at the moment.

"It is the same ole… colleges are getting after it," Woods said of the recruiting process. "I am trying to keep my head down and not get a big head. God gave it to you, he can take it away."

The Florida Gators reside only 40 miles away in Gainesville and have been a huge fixture in his recruitment from the beginning. He visited for a Junior Day and a basketball game earlier this month and says he will be back soon. He likes the Gator basketball team's chances of winning it all this year.

"I will visit in the spring, probably a practice," he said. "I went to the Junior Day when they played basketball against Tennessee. I think they should win the whole thing. If they play Michigan again, they will take Michigan. Woods is young in terms of recruiting and with almost two years until he signs the dotted line, Florida isn't rushing him to make any kind of decision.

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"They tell me to go out and do my thing," Woods said. "They don't want to stop me from being a kid. They know I go to other schools. They always say to come back here and compare because they have state of the art facilities."

Woods has been a priority so he has three different coaches talking to him. Head coach Will Muschamp, area recruiting Coach Brian White, and defensive line coach Brad Lawing are all involved at this time. Lawing has made a real impression on Woods, because the veteran coach won't blow smoke during his recruitment.

"He's an older guy, so he's not very out there… he won't wear the shiny things and things like that. He is a simple guy and talks to you like a man. He won't just tell you everything you want to hear. He sweet talks you some, but he gives you what it will really be like."

Woods expounded on Lawing's style of recruiting. "One thing he said was that I have an offer there… if I keep doing what I am doing and playing well, that offer is there for me in his desk," he started. "Then he said if I start doing things I am not supposed to do, the offer will go in the trash. He said that is how it is at Florida.

"I respect that, because if someone is willing to give up so much money for books and everything, you have to go out there, shine and compete every day. A lot of people aren't blessed with the opportunities that I have."

Woods grew up a Gator fan, but as with most prospects, he has to put that loyalty aside when it comes to making a huge decision like where to go to school. Following the Gators he understands what they went through last season and has his own thoughts on what happened.

"Four and eight, everyone needs to wipe that out of their head," he said. "They had a lot of hurt people. They have a new offensive coordinator. Florida will go back to where they used to be. Florida is one of the fastest teams in the NCAA. You look at the strength and conditioning coach and how they work the body and the muscles they give you. I had my shoulders pulled back after an injury and (coach Jeff Dillman) taught me some things to help my shoulders.

"Everyone likes to talk about Florida going 4-8 but if they have to tell me that Florida went 4-8 to try and win me over, you can just lose my number about that."

In the end, there are a few big things that Woods is looking for in a program.

"First I want to find a good church, because God gave me this body and these tools and I want to give God the Glory," he said. "The program is also important. What school will get me to the NFL? And after playing football, what school is going to be the best business decision. I want to go Political Science and be the President or a Marine Biologist."

Woods continues his recruiting process this month as he will visit Florida State on March 22nd for a Junior Day and then head to the NIKE training camp in Atlanta on March 23. We will continue to keep up with Woods here on Scout.com.

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