OSUInsider caught up with some interesting folks at the Pawnee-Millwood 2A title game. Millwood, competing for its third-straight championship, prevailed. The Falcons defeated the Black Bears 40-18 at Lewis Field in Stillwater.
OSU verbal commits Donovan Woods (Millwood), Cory Muse (Millwood) and Grant Jones (Pawnee) participated in the high school classic. Wanna get inside the heads of the recruits...and their mothers?
(Grant Jones and Pawnee head coach Scott Harmon will be interviewed at a later date. Because of the loss, OSUInsider won the toss but deferred the interview until the second half, or until the mourning period is over. Then we swiped the quarter from the ref and bought candy cigarettes at Aggie Stop.)
Lucy Jones, Grant Jones' mother
You have three sons on the field at once, the twins and Grant. What is it like sitting here seeing them all play for the same cause?
"It's pretty awesome. We are proud he is getting the scholarship. He loves playing football, and I am happy that he gets to continue what he loves."
Take us through Grant's decision to choose OSU for his next step. You all are a pretty tight family, did OSU's location play any part in his commitment?
"Staying close to home was important. There wasn't really anywhere else that he wanted to go. Family is a strong thing – he wanted to stay close."
Now, you are going to have to get a whole new game wardrobe in order to watch Grant play next season.
(Pointing to her red Pawnee colors)"Yes, I will have to get some orange in my closet - I am extremely excited about that. This is going to be really fun."
Juana Woods, Donovan Woods' mother
What is it like to sit through another Millwood championship game? You are pretty seasoned at this by now…
"Like always, I am nervous at first, and I'll be nervous until the last buzzer rings. You never know, you never know what's gonna happen in a game. You just have to pray that it goes on and nobody gets hurt."
Now, we don't know about Rashaun and the NFL draft yet, but doesn't it make you feel better that all three of your sons are going to be together next year?
"It makes it easier on us, because we don't have to go to two or three different locations! It is good that we know they will all be there together, in the same place, taking care of each other. We are real pleased with that."
Anyone can see you are a tight knit family. This must be a real special moment, where you can all come together for good times like this, watching Donovan.
"I expect to see them all tonight. There's Rashaun, D'Juan is here, too – I expect to see them all together. That is just the way it is, they are gonna be together."
So, it is safe to say now…that the Woods' family blood runs orange?
"Of course, of course! If somebody hadn't figured that out by now, then I don't know - they are crazy."
We just talked with Lucy Jones, and there is a similarity between the two of you. You both raised three solid, upstanding children, that are smart and respectful - not to mention phenomenal athletes.
(Just as Elbert Craig leans in to give Juana a hug…)
"You know, we raised six. But all of these kids (from Millwood) are like my own. I love them all."
Have you met Lucy Jones, yet? Seems like you will have a lot to talk about. You all are kind of in the same boat.
"Sure, I am sure we will get to meet – recruiting visits, football parents. We will get to meet, and I am really looking forward to it."
Rashaun is back from Florida – it must feel good knowing that he finally got some national recognition with his selection to the Walter Camp All-America team…
"We are real proud of him. I would have liked to see him get that Biletnikoff Award, but the media – "
The award he deserved…
"The one he earned."
That must really be hard, not getting the proper respect.
"Well, they say it is because OSU isn't a winning program, but to me they are a winning program, and they are now. My ministers' wife – she is deceased now – she used to say, ‘You are still my horse if you don't win a race.' Well, (OSU) is mine if they don't win any games. I'll yell and scream, and whatever they accomplish, I am proud of them. But, I do have high standards. I told them (Rashaun, D'Juan and Donovan) between the three of you, I should have a least one Heisman Trophy on my fireplace."
There you go - you know exactly what you're doing!
(laughing) "They say I don't ask for much."
Lawrence Woods, father
Your soon-to-be third OSU star looks pretty good out there, dad.
"They may be OSU stars, but they are still our babies. We want them to get through this season without any injuries, and we are still concerned about them. They took finals this week, and we hope they make the honor roll. It is just like with anyone else, we are natural parents. We love our babies.
We are excited that (OSU) got to post season play – it's been a long time coming so everybody is excited about that. We made our travel plans – I finalized my travel plans, and we are ready to go to Houston."
Tell me what went through your mind as Rashaun was receiving the recognition he did last night. It isn't the award we were hoping he would win, but…
"We never really thought we would be sitting there watching one of our kids on ESPN receiving an award. We were just trying to get them through middle school and high school and graduate and maybe go to college. And Lord behold – we were sitting there watching him on T.V. It was very gratifying knowing that we were watching our son on T.V. with him in a good light instead of a negative light. That is what all of us parents hope for."
Millwood High School head coach Don Willis
Your team won again, and you are getting ready to send off at least two more kids to OSU…
"OSU – it seems like the only college that is doing a really great job at recruiting our kids, and they believe (Millwood players) can continue to play on a D-1 level. And our kids are buying into it. Then they come up here and have a big impact on the OSU program. Donovan and Cory Muse are no different from the ones before them."
What is it like for you to watch all your kids on Saturdays toughing it out on the turf for OSU? I mean, you see Elbert Craig, Rashaun...watching those guys - the ones that got their start in the Millwood program you helped to build – isn't it hard to be humble?
"Well, sure. I guess I am proud of myself, but I am proud of my coaching staff more than anything. These guys are the ones who teach the fundamentals, all the basic skills. These kids just pick up on it. We start out in a young age with the middle school, teaching the right stuff. When they get to us, when they get to the high school, it is just a refresher course. I wouldn't say we necessarily have that much to do with their success. It starts out at the ground, and we are just the last floor on the elevator ‘til they get to the big top."
Gary Woods, brother; Millwood assistant coach
Isn't it kind of eerie to see Donovan play on the same field that your brothers, Rashaun and D'Juan play at on Saturdays?
"Well actually, I am kind of happy about it. Since the state championship is played here every year, and this is the third time we have been here, and we are a little used to it. I am really excited that Donovan is coming up here, and hopefully I am going to watch him play a number of games on this field."
What do you think about Rashaun getting named to the Walter Camp list?
"Oh, it was a great honor for him to be recognized among college football's best players and I understand there is a lot that goes into it. It was exciting for us to see him receive the award, and he deserved it. There were some great players in his presence."
Donovan Woods, Millwood QB
This is your final game here with Millwood, so will the focus now shift toward your career at OSU, and joining your big brothers in Stillwater?
"I am glad we got a chance to do this. It is amazing being here again in the championship game. A lot of people don't even get to come once, and we were blessed to win three in a row. We are extremely blessed and fortunate, and we just thank the man up above for that."
Grant Jones suffered an injury today -
"You have to keep things real. I don't ever like for anyone to get hurt, especially that guy because he is my new teammate. I really hope the best for him, I hope it isn't bad. We may have been going against each other tonight, but he is a great player, and I am glad he is going to be on my side come next year."
What is it gonna be like – well, you probably know if Rashaun is going or staying –
"No, I really don't, seriously. It is a private decision for him and my parents. I will find out when you do probably."
Well, no matter what Rashaun decides, you will at least get to play on the same team as D'Juan again. Maybe you'll even get to toss a few balls his way in a collegiate game or two next year.
"It is a great feeling. I got to play with D'Juan last year and the year before that, but I have never got the chance to play with Rashaun. Hopefully we can do that, you know, if he stays. I would love the opportunity so much to be next to my brother as he chases some more records."
You kind of scared OSU fans during the recruiting process. There were reports that you weren't sure of what school to go with. It caused some hearts to stop ticking, for sure.
(laughing) "Maybe I had a few thoughts here and there. But a lot is on your plate when everyone is coming at you with all these offers and promises. Really, in my heart though, there was no other place than OSU. I may have gotten overwhelmed there for a while with everything, and confused in my head, but my heart knew where I should be. I need to be here, I should be here. I really can't wait for all this to happen. It is going to be so exciting, playing on this field in an orange uniform. I want to do it with my brothers by my side and I want to look up and see my parents in the stands. I am so lucky to have the option and ability to play this game. I really have no one to thank but the man upstairs.
Cory Muse, Millwood LB
What about this domination? You all were able to come out as a defense and stop Pawnee's potent run game.
"It is unbelieveable, man. This is the last thing we put together, our senior year, and we did it again. We won the third title, and I am still trying to let it sink in. We came together, we knew it had to be a team effort to stop their running game, and we made it."
Are you getting excited about your OSU future?
"We got something we want fans to see. We are gonna do our best to the best of our abilities, and we are going to storm this place, showing the coaches what we can bring to the table to help this team continue to rise up."
Was there ever any doubt that OSU was the right fit for you?
"It was just a matter of the situation at the time, what program suited me and there isn't any question that I should – and am – going to be a Cowboy. See, look, my blood is turnin' orange already."