Woods gets OSU offer. Are Huskers still in it

As D.J. Woods and his father (Derek) tour the country, taking trip upon trip, the list of offers grows. It's becoming increasingly harder to narrow this list down to something manageable. That's the focus, though, and when it comes to Nebraska , considering where they are now, you might find it hard to believe they almost didn't make the list at all.

Derek Woods and his son, D.J. Woods, have been on a tour of sorts. Call it a trek if you like, the Woods doing their best to unofficially visit almost every school which has offered the Ohio standout in writing. If it isn't a camp to Auburn , it's Florida . Before that, there was a trip to Nebraska , and, of course, Woods has been all over Big Ten land.

But it's few the number of schools outside of the region, and especially outside of the state, which can say they are getting two. Nebraska will be amongst that small group come the 27th of July.

It's amazing then when you think about the fact that Nebraska almost didn't get a visit at all.

"It had been a long time since Coach Rudolph was in touch, and we didn't really know what was going on," the elder Woods said of Nebraska 's new tight end coach, who came to Nebraska from a G.A.'s position at Ohio State . "We were camping down at Iowa , and it was like a debate as to whether or not we were even going to go there to take a look."

Derek and his son did make the trip, of course, and though it was only a day and a half to soak everything they could in, that's a day and a half that still brings vivid memories. "It's like any place, you don't know really what to expect, but I KNOW I wasn't expecting what I saw," Woods said. "I can't tell you how many places we've been, but it's a lot and it's some of the best programs around – nobody had facilities like they had there in Lincoln .

"I seriously didn't expect that, and that wasn't even close to everything that just kind of floored us while we were there."

Woods right now is sitting on just over 20 offers, and the attention seems to keep increasing as the time wears on. It's been a flurry of sorts since May, but it's one that Mr. Woods has tried to manage the best he can. The philosophy he said which has worked out the best is just to try and take it in and not think too much about the scope of it all. "We are staying humble and just learning everything we can learn. There's a lot to do and not a lot of time. It's such a blessing all this attention, the offers and all the great relationships we have developed with these coaches. D.J. has worked so hard to get where he is, but we never expected attention like this and I know we never thought that we'd be spending the summer on the road visiting all these schools."

While his visits have recently taken him south, they plan to wind up their tour back where for them it sort of started. No, Nebraska wasn't the first place they visited, but they've been a program which has been on his son for a pretty long time. "It just seems right, ya know? It just seems right to end it at Nebraska , because that's kind of where it all began," Woods said. "We've gotten along so well with coach Rudolph, but just all the coaches like (Ted) Gilmore and Bill Callahan. It's the Husker Nation, and I still can't get over just how surprised we were when we were there."

While this will be the last unofficial visit for Woods and his family, it's only the brief respite before the official visits take place once his season begins. Derek couldn't say for certain as to which schools were going to be in the running for a few of those official visits, but two schools were definitely on that slate as being the ones they know D.J. will make. "I can tell you that Nebraska and Auburn will get visits. I am almost positive that those are two schools we'll definitely be coming to see during the season," Woods said. "After that, it's really a wide open race. There are obviously a lot of great programs and they are all showing D.J. a lot of attention, so it's going to be hard to figure out who those other three are going to be."

The inevitable question has to do with the fact that recently D.J. picked up that coveted offer from the Ohio State Buckeyes. The younger Woods has been quoted as saying that the offer from the Buckeyes was one he was really hoping to get. With Woods finally getting that offer, is recruiting essentially done for the Ohio prep all-star?

The elder Woods didn't think so. "We're not originally from Ohio , but it's been a big part of our lives," Derek said. "You get surrounded by it and you obviously become a fan. There's no doubt that this is an offer that D.J. is really excited about, but so many of the schools we have seen have plenty to offer as well. We still plan on visiting Nebraska unofficially again. We still plan on taking at least some of those official visits. Ohio State isn't a lock. There's a lot more going into our decision than that."

The recruiting process is a long one, but up to this point you could say that for the Woods, it has certainly paid off. All the trips, the camps and everything they have done seems to have worked for them in the end. The Ohio State offer is obviously big, and while the Woods aren't saying it, the perception will be that it's now Ohio State in the drivers' seat.

Woods doesn't know what the future will bring, especially in regard to the decision, but he said Nebraska shouldn't be counted out. "I have no doubt that all the way to the end Nebraska is going to be there. We've been far too impressed with what we have seen there for them not to be," he said. "That's what will make this a very tough decision, but it's great, because we are so blessed to have so many great programs to choose from.

"The hard part for D.J. will be finally choosing just who that school is going to be."

Big Red Report will keep you up-to-date on Woods, his visit to Nebraska and throughout the process until he makes his final choice.

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