Woods Family Still Active at OSU

<b>Kansas City, MO --</b> Oklahoma State head coach Les Miles is running out of Woods brothers to plug into his system. That number shrunk from three to two this year when Rashaun graduated and joined the NFL, leaving fellow wideout D'Juan and quarterback Donovan, both of whom are expected to start in 2004.

"We would recruit any of the Woods we could get to at this point," said Miles. "They're a great family and a competitive group. Very grounded young men from a strong and very talented family. Every one of them are different, but they all bring some very necessary values to the family."

At least he will have the two youngest Woods' together for the next several seasons. D'Juan is expected to step into his older brother's footsteps and become the Cowboys' marquee wide receiver. He ranked second on the team last season with 31 receptions for 479 yards and one score while starting opposite of Rashaun.

"Certainly they'll want to determine where our playmakers are when they devise their scheme for the week against us," Miles said. "They'll find very quickly and will take into account D'juan Woods. There will be some similarities to he and his older brother. But I think he'll play very fast and effective, and give us a lot of the same traits we had with Rashaun Woods."

Donovan Woods, meanwhile, has the inside track at replacing Josh Fields as the starting signal caller. But he won't have the same type of experience as D'Juan when taking over a marquee spot on offense.

"(Donovan) really came into the spring and provided the leadership and huddle discipline we liked," Miles said. "His progress has been good to this point. We'll see how he plays on Saturdays."

One position that could help both Woods brothers be effective is an offensive line that returns four of five starters. Senior Sam Mayes is the anchor of that O-line after starting 28 Big 12 games throughout his career and earning second-team all-conference honors last fall.

"I think each group is different and certainly when you have an offensive line that has played together and understands what you're going to ask of them it helps," Miles said. "We're certainly expected to be better in the offensive line than we've been.

"Hopefully their ability to perform well will take some of the pressure off the running backs and quarterback, and allow us to move the football with ease. How difficult it is to build that experience depends on the individual guy. We're glad that we've put this veteran group together on the field."

Program builds momentum

After Baylor head coach Guy Morriss spoke Tuesday about his administration's struggle to place importance on football, Oklahoma State's coach complimented the support he has received from above.

"We've always had a great school and community to recruit to, and that combines well with an administration that feels like facilities improvement is important," Miles said. "The stadium is going to be a beautiful place to watch a game. Our players recognize as they see that stadium climb up the southside that they're a part of something new and different.

"Whatever we need to accomplish our goals and be a fine football team is something they're willing to give us. The talent level has increased since we've been here, and the expectation and desire to win is healthy. We feel like we're going to do some special things at Oklahoma State. We look forward to that future."


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