Last season didn’t go according to plan for J'Marick Woods. The Florence (Ala.) safety was sidelined by an injury that prevented him both from helping his team and from showing college coaches what he can do. By the spring, though, he was healthy again and flashing the athletic gifts that only those on his team previously knew about. Now eyes outside of Florence are starting to catch a glimpse.
“I’ve got some film on me now, so that’s why I’m starting to burst on the scene,” Woods said proudly. It’s from the spring game.”
“I’m a long rangy safety that can cover ground and I come up and make the hit when I have to. I play the ball very well also. I like to watch a lot of film on Eric Reid. I try to mimic what he does and play fast, explosive, and be a ball hawk.”
Safety prospects with that kind of game, that also stand 6-4, weigh 195 lbs., and run the forty in 4.6 seconds don’t grow on trees. That’s why Michigan assistant Tyrone Wheatley wasted little time extending a scholarship offer after seeing the talented youngster Tuesday.
“I was surprised,” said Woods. “I didn’t have much contact (with Michigan before the offer). The only reason I knew Michigan is because Erroll Thompson got an offer from Michigan.”
“I was excited. I got pulled out of eighth period and my coach came and got me. He straight up told me I got the Michigan offer and they wanted me. I was excited.”
Kentucky also offered Woods Tuesday, and though excited by that one also, it didn’t strike him in quite the same way.
“I wouldn’t say I was expecting (the Kentucky offer), but that one wasn’t much of a shock as Michigan was,” he stated. “I saw Kentucky at our practices last year, so I kind of knew them.”
“I don’t know too much about Michigan, but I know they’ve got the new coach, Jim Harbaugh. (Wheatley) is a good coach. I feel like he was real sincere with what he was saying to me. They’re starting to rebuild, but I’d like to find out more about them.”
Woods has already started picking Thompson’s brain about the Maize & Blue, but he plans to do his own research in the coming weeks and months. He also hopes to make it up on a visit. When he does there will a few specific traits he’ll be looking for.
“Education has to be number one, whoever has the best education opportunity for me (will be a major factor),” said Woods. “Number two, I’m going to see who I can get on the field quickest, the fan base and all the facilities and all that, the football aspect of it.”
“I’ll try to make a trip up there… me and (Thompson) will. It might be a summer thing, but I really don’t know.”
Proximity to home can often be a limiting factor for many prospects when it comes to taking visits, and definitely when it comes to selecting a school. Woods insists the latter won’t be the case for him.
“If the team treats me like a family and I feel like I can go in and fit in… I might get a little homesick, but I feel like I can get past that,” he said. “I don’t feel that will be a factor.”
“I’m going to go through the process and wait it out and see what all my options are. I’m not going to do anything too early, (but) I don’t think I’m going to wait all the way until signing day.”