Woodard Visits Hawks

Iowa sent fans home happy Friday night with a 80-71 win against Iowa State. Johnny Woodward also left the arena in a good mood. The 2014 JUCO from Minnesota enjoyed his visit with the Hawkeye coaches and they're giving each other strong consideration. Get the latest right here.

Fran McCaffery likes to keep a low profile when it comes to recruiting. He's accomplishing that with JUCO wing Johnny Woodard.

The Minneapolis product stealthily slipped into Iowa City this weekend to catch the Iowa-Iowa-State game Friday night. Woodard is in the 2014 Class.

"I would say that out of the main schools we talk about if Johnny would make a commitment right now that Iowa would be his top choice," said Brian Sandifer, Woodard's AAU Coach with Grassroots Hoops. "Tennessee would be second. He's Tennessee's No. 1 priority for 2014."

Iowa holds three open scholarship for '14. Assistant Sherman Dillard is the Hawkeyes lead recruiter with Woodard.

"Sherm said that he's a no-brainer (offer Woodard a scholarship)," Sandifer said. "Their biggest thing is can he get (his associate's degree) done in one year. There's definitely an offer on the table. That's not a question.

"If he gets done in one year, he's their No. 1 priority, same with Tennessee. (Coach) Quanzo Martin is a very good friend of mine."

Woodard is attempting a rigorous academic plan in order make it into the '14 group with four years to play three. He's beginning classes at the North Dakota School of Science next month and will practice with the team. He will continue taking courses for the next four semesters (includes two summers) and play there during the 2013-14 campaign.

"Every mid-major school in the Midwest has offered the kid," Sandifer said.

Iowa, Tennessee and Nebraska are the high majors showing the most interest, the coach said.

"There are some guys that are role players. Johnny Woodard is a program change," Sandifer said. "There's no role player in him. He can score it, rebound it and defend it. He can play a role, but he's a program changer."

Sandifer said that Iowa feels that way about his pupil.

"I've got a great relationship with Coach Dillard and Johnny does as well," said Sandifer, who played football at Northern Iowa. "You talk about a steal; he's a steal if they can pull it off to get him under the radar like this."

The 6-foot-4, 230-pound Woodard owns a 43-inch vertical leap and can deliver 3-pointers, Sandifer said.

"He can shoot it from four or five feet behind the arc and it's a layup," the coach said.

Former Minnesota Golden Gophers Assistant and Iowa native Greg Purnell alerted the Hawkeye coaches to Woodard, Sandifer said. Purnell has since moved on to be the head coach at St. Francis Prep in Wheaton, IL.

"He thought Johnny would be a great fit there with the style they play," Sandifer said.

Sandifer said that Woodard doesn't need a lot of flashing lights when it comes to his recruitment.

"A lot of kids want the process to carry out. A lot of kids want to get stroked through the whole process. Johnny Woodard is a plain guy," Sandifer said.

Sandifer said that Woodard would like to stay relatively close to his Minnesota home when it comes to choosing a four-year school.

"He's a kid that confides with me big time because he really doesn't have a father," Sandifer said. "Me and him have a very good relationship when it comes to what's best. Johnny is very comfortable being closer to the metro area in Minneapolis.

"(Iowa is) a situation where the kid can go into a program that 10 years ago was one of the better programs in the Big Ten and is on the rise again."


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