Class of 2018 cornerback Tykee Woods of Clovis, Calif., Clovis West High School likes to refer to the Golden Eagle junior class as “The New Breed.”
This young breed of talent – spearheaded by the likes of highly recruited quarterback Adrian Martinez, wide receiver Rodney Wright III (the son of the former Fresno State record-breaking wide receiver) and the 5-foot-8 Woods - is seeking to end a six-year Central Section title drought at a program known for winning nine section championships in the San Joaquin Valley, but also a program that hasn’t gotten over the six-win threshold since 2010.
“Our goal is to go past the second round of the playoffs and win a Valley ring,” Woods told Scout. “We’re a new breed. That’s what we call ourselves, ‘The New Breed.’”
And if the Golden Eagles were looking for any kind of spark from one of their young members before heading into the rough Tri-River Athletic Conference slate, the hands and the reaction skills of the undersized Woods provided just that on Sept. 25.
Playing against a chief rival from Fresno’s west side in Bullard High, Woods leaped in front of a deflected pass that floated in the night time sky at Buchanan High’s Veterans Memorial Stadium then fell right into his hands with 6:13 to go, swinging the energy toward Clovis West’s sideline and helping seal the thrilling 31-27 victory over the Knights.
The loquacious Woods made sure that he got his hands on the open gift, as his CW coaches have called on him to make plays like that.
“I did my job. I made sure my dude was out the way. I saw the ball in the air and I said ‘let’s go get it,’” Woods said.
Additionally, he’s spent some time in the Clovis West football film room as he closely scrutinized the Knight wide receivers, observing what their strengths and flaws were.
“I saw they didn’t want to block. I saw where they lacked,” Woods said. “I saw No. 17 (Daylan Zarate) had good hands, but I made sure he was going nowhere.”
Woods is seeking to emerge as the next most college ready prospect for his class, especially since Martinez has led the Golden Eagle recruiting movement with his six reported scholarship offers, four of them coming in September. Woods has had a solid start to his recruiting period with landing letters and taking in one unofficial visit on Sept. 10.
“I have letters from Northern Arizona, Boston College and I took an unofficial visit to Fresno State. That was a nice unofficial visit,” Woods said.
Regarding the local university, which has former Golden Eagle tight end Johnny Rojas III, Woods said he already has one other key connection at the North Maple Avenue campus.
“My older homie Juju Hughes (freshman defensive back) goes there and he told me FS is a really good school,” Woods said. “He’s a great guy. He’s taught me a lot of good stuff like instincts and mentality and he’s taught me to have a great mentality, which is this: Go get it and don’t take any plays off.”
The two-year varsity letterman Woods has grown into his role as Clovis West’s top lockdown cornerback, utilizing his speed, instincts and hip angles to single cover wide receivers. Outside of his coverage skills, he provides strong safety-like hits to ball carriers, knocking them backwards and placing their back on the grass.
Woods and Clovis West have a bye this week before taking its 3-2 record into TRAC play, where local rival Clovis North will await them for the league opener at Buchanan High on Oct. 7.