"I wanted to go to Kansas State since I was a young," Justin Woods told Scout.com. I'm looking to start next year. That's my goal. I've got pretty big plans for next year."
We asked Woods where the KSU coaches plan to use him.
"They told me running back," he said. "That's my preference, but I love defense too. Actually, in high school I played running back and cornerback. Anywhere they would have put me I would have been happy, but I do like running back better."
Coach George Radell talked to Scout.com about his talented back and his commitment to Kansas State.
"Certainly all his teammates and the coaches that worked with Justin the last four years are all thrilled. Justin is excited as well and anxious to get everything started--get there on campus in Manhattan and start practicing football."
We asked coach Radell what he thought sold Woods on KSU.
"It was really coach Prince," he said. "I think that he and both his parents were impressed with coach Prince as well as the recruiting they did. Probably more so than anything the opportunity to play Big 12 football, and to play for coach Prince. He is a respected coach and kind of getting that program to continue what Coach Snyder did for all those years. I think everyone was excited about Kansas State."
Woods concurs, "I love them. Every coach, even the coach (Morris) that was recruiting me and left for Tampa Bay. They've been recruiting me, and I've gotten to know them."
There is something else Woods loves about Manhattan and that is the fan support of their program.
"Oh, it's excellent," he said. "Everything. I went to football games. The student section, as you know, has a lot of school spirit up there. I loved it."
Coach Radell talked about coaching his playmaker.
"He played cornerback and running back in addition to being our return man," he said. "He did not come off the field very much, unless he had just run an 80-yard touchdown. Maybe he would sit out a kick-off the next play. He just didn't come off the field very much for us."
"Coaching Justin for his whole four year career, he's just always been faster than everybody else on the football field. He has always given us that opportunity for a big play. The number of runs, long touchdown runs that he has given us over the years, 60-70 plus yards, kick-off returns. Having a player like Justin Woods gives you the opportunity to score a touchdown at any point in the game. Then having a player with his ability also be your team captain. One of your hardest workers, respected by his teammates is certainly a plus as well."
Woods visited Manhattan on the weekend of December 8. His host was Leon Patton, the freshman running back from Dallas, Texas.
"He's a great guy," Woods said. "I learned a lot from him. He's going to be fun to be around. I'm looking to learn a lot from him next year when I get up there."
We asked Woods who he was excited about playing with in this incoming class.
"Dee Bell, all the recruits up there I'm looking forward to playing with," he said. "We all took visits together. LaMark Brown, Dee Bell, Jayson Cuba, Jeremy Reed, Kevin Rohleder, all those guys took their official visit on December 8. I can't wait to get there and play with them."
The 5-9, 180-pound back rushed 137 times for 1,344 yards which is 9.8 yards per carry average. Woods also recorded seven receptions for 203 yards and two touchdowns for a 29 yards per catch average. Woods returned five kicks for touchdowns during his junior season. This year the opposition made sure to kick it in another direction.
"Justin received awards for All-League the last three seasons for running back," Radell said. "This year he was an All-Johnson County running back selection. He was first team 5A All-State from the Topeka Capitol Journal for running back. He had other awards but those were his first team honors."