Rashaun Woods Diary #9 - Countdown to the Draft

In our final installment of our diary with Oklahoma State's two-time All-American wide receiver we had a question and answer session with Woods just three days away from one of the most important days of his life, NFL Draft Day 2004. <BR><BR> OSSR: Are you really anxious to get the Draft on and over with? <BR><BR> Woods: Yes, there has been a lot of anticipation coming up to it. I'm ready to get it over with and ready to find out where I'm going to be living for the next couple of years.

OSSR: How much anxiety are you feeling with so much of the process out of your control? I guess having other people in control of your future would create anxiety for anybody.

Rashaun Woods: Of course, Of course. Usually when you are going out to get a job you really have the opportunity to pick where you want to work. In my case, I'm waiting to be picked for a job. It's different. I could wind up across the United States or I could be close. You never know, and that is the tough thing about it.

OSSR: Is there anyway that when your name is called on Saturday that you will shake your head and not feel good and positive about the way it has turned out?

Woods: I will be happy where ever I go. Where ever it is I land I think it will probably be the best place. My main thing is whether it is going to be cold cold or hot hot, I need to acclimate the best I can and try to make a living out of it.

OSSR: Is it a little like recruiting where you feel better about the teams that showed you attention, and is it those teams that you feel best about taking you?

Woods: Somewhat, but I've probably talked to about 20 teams, so to narrow it down to 20 teams is not really narrowing it down much. Those guys do a good job of getting around and making sure they have good evaluations on guys. So, it's hard to really know if some team is narrowing in on you because they all say the samething, that they really like you a lot. It really doesn't have a bearing to it.

OSSR: We talked to you about the trip to Pittsburgh last week, and you made a trip to Detroit. How was the Motor City?

Woods: It's real nice. The facilities there were top of the line. The city and stuff looked real nice. I came in at night and there were lights everywhere. It's a big facility, bigger than Pittsburgh. All in all it seemed like a really nice place.

OSSR: Who did you spend time with at Detroit? Did you talk with Steve Mariucci or mainly with assistant coaches?

Woods: I sat down with Mr. Mariucci. I talked with the offensive coordinator, and it was pretty much a laid back conversation. I talked with the owner. I met everybody there. I met a couple of the players, took a tour of the facility and see things. I did not get to go by the stadium, but there indoor facility is really nice, I can tell you that.

OSSR: There really aren't any bad facilities in the NFL.

Woods: I'm thankful for that. The better the facilities, the longer I should be able to play. The better the people they have on staff, the longer I'll be able to play. That's all a good thing.

OSSR: Is playing surface important to you. A lot of NFL players talk about preferring grass. At least playing on one of the new articial surfaces. Does that matter to you, playing surface?

Woods: I think grass is my favorite to play on. It's the easiest on my body. Artificial grass now is a lot better than the old time turf. You can still feel the wear because of the turf not giving like grass. I love the grass. I've always played on grass. If I could play the majority of my games on grass I would be a happy camper.

OSSR: How will you spend Draft Day? I know you wanted to go fishing, but your older brother Gary told me that you've been talked out of that. Will you be in front of the TV like a lot of other players?

Woods: I'm just going to hang out at the house and watch it, I guess. I might for the first couple of picks play play station or something like that and then when it starts getting around to where I might get picked then I might tune in, (laughing).

OSSR: It's going to be family watching the draft with you, right?

Woods: I'm pretty sure Mom and Dad are going to be happy for me, brothers and stuff like that. I've got two brothers that may be going through the samething some day, so I think they are eager to see what goes on.

OSSR: Are you ready for the whirlwind after your name is called. There will be a telephone news conference with the media in that city, and then they will fly you in for a press conference. Also, the media in those big NFL markets isn't always as friendly. Are you ready for that?

Woods: Probably one of my biggest rules of thumb, when I talk to the media, is if they ask respectful questions they will get respectful answers.

OSSR: What did you think when the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the NFL and issued a stay keeping Maurice Clarret and USC wide receiver Michael Williams out of the draft?

Woods: If you are a sophomore or freshman coming out of college and playing pro basketball that may be alright because those guys may be mature enough physically and mentally to play the game, but when it comes to football, you have to be so much bigger and so much stronger. You might want to stay in college and get your paper. There is so much that goes in to going into the NFL. You have to live on your own, and if you aren't prepared for that, it is going to be tough on you.

OSSR: From a business sense, Williams not being in the draft could mean anywhere from $200,000 to $500,000 for you in moving up in the draft.

Woods: Maybe, but you have to look at it from this standpoint. If a team really likes MIke Williams and he doesn't come out. If he's not on the board, then they may pick up a linebacker or a cornerback and wait until next year or a supplemental draft and try to get Mike Williams. Just because a receiver is not on the board doesn't mean they will go get another receiver. A lot of teams I've heard will try to go get another need. If a team really needs a receiver then it may help. Some teams always have a back up play. You can never tell with these things.

OSSR: What do you think of some of the other receivers in this draft. They say it is the best in year for receivers. What do you think of Roy Williams?

Woods: Roy Williams has tremendous raw talent. He can just about do it all. He's big, strong. I had a chance to work out with him in Arizona and see just how strong the guy is. He is a well put together guy. I didn't think there were a lot of receivers that are well put together, but he is one of them. He does a good job of going to get the ball. He does a good job of running routes and stuff like that. I was impressed with him.

OSSR: Larry Fitzgrald?

Woods: He's a big guy, bigger than even what I thought he was. I never had a chance to see him work out. I caught him in one game and saw some tape on him. He reminds me of myself the way he goes up to get the ball. I think that is probably his biggest attribute, and mine also, is to go up and make the play. The thing tht helps him out a lot is he is 6-3, 6-4. I thinkhe is a good player, and I'm pretty sure he will be a good player in the league. He runs good routes. You talk about a guy I like to watch, I like to watch him.

OSSR: Lee Evans out of Wisconsin?

Woods: I had a chance to see some of his films. He's a shorter guy that is cat quick. he kind of reminds me of a lot more experienced Jamal Fobbs back when Jamal played receiver at Oklahoma State. He had all that speed, but because he only played a season he didn't know the position as well and understand the route concept. You talk about a receiver that becomes a running back with the ball in his hands and that's Lee Evans. He is able to play big.

OSSR: Reggie Williams out of Washington?

Woods: The only time I saw Reggie play was against Texas, I think his freshman year. He was up against Quinton Jammer. It looks like he goes up and gets the ball well. A couple of my teammates worked out with him in Houston and they said he runs okay routes. He wasn't as good a route runner as you thought he would be. He's a good player.

OSSR: I think Rashaun Woods is as good as anybody in this draft. What do you think?

Woods: I think so. What will determine which receivers will be long term guys will be the work ethic. Everybody has similar work ethic right now. From this point on which guys are willing to put in the most work. Dedicate themselves to being a great player to rise above the rest.

OSSR: Who do you want to pattern yourself after in the NFL?

Woods: Jerry Rice. I want to do the things that Jerry Rice did. I feel like I can accomplish those things. It will take a long time to catch a guy like that, but that is my goal, is to be that kind of player. After watching film of him, I feel I can be that kind of player. I have a lot of work to do because I'm nowhere near the athlete he was and is, but that is a goal of mine.

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