Sherrell McMillan/Inside Carolina

Seventh Woods Completes Recruiting Journey

Roy Williams's four-year recruiting commitment to Seventh Woods, which operated mostly under the media radar, earned him a UNC commitment in return.

COLUMBIA, S.C. – When Seventh Woods enrolled at Columbia (S.C.) Hammond and met head coach Mark McClam for the first time, McClam noticed something on Woods's wrist.

“A blue Tar Heel bracelet,” McClam recalls.

Just a small item, but one representative of the beginning of Woods’s long recruiting journey.

A trip that, ultimately, led him right back to where he started, at Hammond with McClam. But this time, there wasn’t a blue Tar Heel bracelet. Instead, Woods donned a blue Tar Heel hat after signing a National Letter of Intent to play in Chapel Hill next season.

“Coach (Roy) Williams, when he first started recruiting Seventh in the eighth grade said ‘no one will outwork me and no one will see your kid more than me,’” said McClam. “I don’t think he ever sent an assistant coach one time to see Seventh. As a head coach, he was the only one who came the whole time.”

“Commitment is the word I’d use to describe Roy Williams,” he continued. “He said from the beginning that Seventh was his No. 1 target and he was going to hold off from taking other point guards. I know it was tough on him as the race continued to get tighter down the stretch.”

In fact, Williams was in Columbia a lot more than most people outside of Woods’s family knew. When Louis and Monica Woods realized the attention their son’s recruitment would receive, they vowed not to let outside influences impact them or the process. That’s why, in the hours leading up to Woods’s announcement, no one but the family and Williams knew where he was going.

“Roy was great and he really recruited Seventh hard,” Monica Woods explained. “He was down here a lot and sometimes we didn’t put it out when Roy came. Sometimes it would go a whole day and no one would really know he came.”

“I really don’t like dealing too much with the media,” she continued. “Not that it’s a bad thing, but sometimes people will try to read between the lines and get the wrong perception. You can say one thing and then they can go write something totally different. I read that and saw it happen so many times. Some of the things being written weren’t accurate, so that’s why we didn’t care to do a lot interviews and media.”

With no information released by the family, and only rare interviews with Woods, speculation was rampant. Was Woods cooling on UNC? Was a commitment to South Carolina imminent? Did he take a secret visit to another school?

In the end, after all the visits, all the conversations, all the pros and cons lists, and all the praying, Woods made the decision he always wanted to make.

“I’m not surprised by the decision, though I figured it would be a little bit tough for him to say no to South Carolina,” said Major Williamson, Woods’s AAU coach. “But when you go back and look at it, from day one, North Carolina has been really, really aggressive with him. It was a decision based on growing up a North Carolina fan and having an opportunity to play for the school he rooted for his entire life.”

Woods said UNC’s history, the legacy of Michael Jordan, and Roy Williams’s success with putting point guards in the NBA were also factors in his selection of the Tar Heels. Both McClam and Williamson see Woods’s skills and strengths as a natural fit with North Carolina’s style of play.

“With their style of play, they like to run, their bigs run and they get up and down the floor,” McClam said. “I think what Coach Williams sees in Seventh is a phenomenally explosive, fast and smart decision-making point guard that can score and play some as a combo guard, which I think Seventh liked. At North Carolina, he’s not just going to be a point guard facilitating the offense, but they also want him to score. And he can score in bunches when he wants to.”

Added Williamson: “He can go to UNC and do well. Transition, up-tempo basketball is where an ultimate player maker like Seventh thrives.”

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