Mizzou has an 'in' with Ohio star Receiver

Strongsville (OH) High coach Russ Jacques recently called Missouri coach Gary Pinkel with an observation. "It looks like you're having a lot more fun," said Jacques, who coached alongside Pinkel at Bowling Green in 1978. Pinkel, meantime, responded with a request – he wanted help landing Missouri a commitment from Strongsville wideout D.J. Woods. Now Jacques seems to be giving it his best effort.


Woods, who committed to Nebraska but de-committed when things began falling apart in Lincoln, is considering three schools – Mizzou, West Virginia and Auburn. He's already been to Auburn, will visit WVU this weekend and will head to Columbia next weekend. InsideMizzou.com caught up with his coach, and we asked him whether his relationship with Pinkel has an effect on Woods' recruitment.

"Oh, sure. That's what networking's all about. That's what friends are for. Gary's a great friend and I would do anything to help him," he said. "What I told D.J. and his family is, Gary Pinkel does things the right way. He's honest and has great discipline. He's got a great family. I would let my son play for Gary, that's how highly I think of him."

Woods is a 6-foot, 166-pound speedster who runs a 4.35-second 40-yard dash. He was offered by Penn State, Iowa and home-state power Ohio State, but became disinterested when the Buckeyes made it clear they wanted him as a cornerback. His heart was set on playing wide receiver, where his coach sees limitless potential in him.

"I know Jeremy Maclin is a great player, but I see that kind of potential in D.J.," Jacques said, citing Woods' speed, vacuum hands and great work ethic. "I think he'll be play on Sundays some day."

New Nebraska coach Bo Pelini has called a few times in an effort to get back in with Woods, but he's no longer interested, Jacques said. He's also been hearing from MU commit Blaine Gabbert, with whom he became friendly when the two were part of NU's recruiting class.

"Blaine is really throwing out Missouri because of what they do and how they throw the ball. And obviously everything has exploded there in the last month, so I think that's really gotten D.J.'s attention," he said.

Mizzou seems to be in great shape with Woods. We'll keep you posted…

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