Durkin Forging Bond with Florida DE

D.J. Durkin was on the trail of 2016 Ocala (Fla.) Trinity Catholic DE Jordan Woods while serving as Florida’s defensive coordinator. Now that he is at Michigan he has picked up the scent again, and the interest is definitely mutual.

Before last weekend’s Nike Football Training Camp in Orlando, Ocala (Fla.) Trinity Catholic DE Jordan Woods was chomping at the bit to go toe-to-toe will some of the best offensive linemen in the region.  When the dust settled the Sunshine State star believed he had more than held his own.

“It went good,” Woods said regarding his camp showing.  “I got some new exposure on how tackles work… seeing how they like to kick back and everything.  They pretty much the put they put the best tackle out there (on me).  He was a good tackle, but I beat him.”

One look at his junior film and there are numerous examples of similar victories. He racked up 16 sacks, while also demonstrating willingness to free up his teammates to make plays.

“It was good I really matured as a player,” said Woods.  “I sacrificed a lot. I realized that if it was better for the team it had to be done.”

“If you watch me you’ll see a player that takes on any task at hand.  (You’ll say) he’s a pass rusher of the quarterback.  He will, if needed, drop back in coverage.  If you need to put him on a three-technique and handle a tackle, he is able to do it.  He’s pretty much can run through the O-line and knows what the whole O-line is doing.”

Michigan was among the schools that recognized Woods’ talent long ago.  Former headman Brady Hoke extended an offer last May, and the coaching change has done nothing to lessen the Maize & Blue interest.  New defensive coordinator has picked up the baton and is running with it.

“He’s been saying, ‘it’s going to be a different experience if you come up to Michigan.  You know how the south is. A lot of the schools are the same.  The SEC is the SEC, but when you come to Michigan we’ll give you a different look on life.’”

“I love the defense he ran at Florida.  I think he’s a pretty fired up dude all the time.  Coach Durkin… he’s just himself.  I met him when he was at Florida, and he was pretty much the same type of guy.  Even when he went to Michigan, he is the same type of guy.  Really I think he is a good coach, and Coach Jim Harbaugh is going to be a good coach also.”

His high regard for the coaching staff in Ann Arbor has gone a long way toward mitigating the proximal advantage held by many of his other suitors.

“Michigan has actually been one (of the schools sticking out early),” said Woods.  “Miami, Florida, Florida State, Georgia and FAU are (also up there), but everybody is on an equal playing field.”

For the Wolverines to improve their standing even more they’ll have to get the talented youngster on campus.  It’s one of many he is planning to see in the coming weeks and months.

“I don’t have them set up, but the locals… Florida, Florida State, Miami… I know I’m going to go to those three,” he said.  “I’m going to try and get with Georgia.  If I can, I’ll try to keep going and get up to Michigan.  I’ll either do Michigan in the summer or one of my officials.”

“If it is not in the summer, I will talk to the coaches and get an official up there.”

There are a number of factors that Woods plans to assess at each stop, and in the case of Michigan, he already knows some of the criteria will be met.

“(My decision) is going to be God led, so I’m going to have to be near a church,” he said.  “Second thing is good academics because I’m going to need a job after I stop playing football.  Next is going to be a good athletic program.  The next thing is life.  How is it going to be when you there and bringing new experiences? That’s one thing I want and that’s one thing Michigan can offer is a new experience.”  

“I told my parents that I’ll announce (a commitment) when it feels right.  It could be two weeks from now, it could be signing day, or the day after signing day… just whenever it feels right.  I don’t want to go up and say right now I feel this school is the best school for me, but down the road (ask myself), ‘is it really the best school for you?’  I’m not a big fan of decommitting and all that stuff.”


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