Logan Woodside has always had the bloodline to become a successful Division-I football player. In fact, Logan's father, Jason, played safety at Eastern Kentucky from 1992 to 1995, as he now watches his son bring in national accolades as the quarterback of the Toledo Rockets. Woodside, a six-two, 200-pound gunslinger out of Frankfort, Kentucky threw for 2,951 yards and 41 touchdowns as a senior at Franklin County. After enrolling at the University of Toledo in 2013, Woodside would see action in four games as a true-freshman due to injuries. In 2014, after a season-ending injury to starting quarterback, Phillip Ely, Woodside would flourish in the Rocket offense. At season's end, Woodside racked up nineteen touchdowns compared to just eight interceptions and ranked No. 4 in the Mid-American Conference in pass efficiency.
After a solid 2014 season, Woodside was destined to be the Rockets' starting quarterback in the 2015 season. Despite the expected starting role, Woodside wanted to improve before another tough quarterback competition with Phillip Ely. In the summer of 2015, Woodside reached out to former NFL quarterback, Jeff Garcia who was in the process of training collegiate and professional quarterbacks in San Diego, California.
"My dad kind of knew Jeff a little bit from a while back but Bruce (Gradkowski) really helped me get out there with him and actually made the call to get me out to work with him," Woodside stated.
After making it to San Diego, Woodside enjoyed a week of training with the twelve-year NFL veteran, consisting of several different drills and workouts.
"It was definitely a good experience, he taught me a lot," Woodside said on training with Garcia, "he's a guy that never took anything for granted and nothing was ever given to him and he instilled that in me, which has allowed me to become a better player."
Garcia, a four-time NFL Pro-Bowl selection, spent his twelve seasons with five different teams, most notably with the San Francisco 49ers. Following his career, which ended in 2009, he began working with quarterbacks and eventually began 'Jeff Garcia Football' to train signal-callers. Garcia says Woodside already had many of the intangibles you want in a quarterback, even prior to his training.
"In the time that I was able to spend with Logan, the most important thing I wanted to instill in him was that competitor's edge, that fighter's mentality to outcompete and outwork anyone and everyone. He has a lot of that instilled in him already, especially with a father who competed at the major collegiate level and knows what it's all about. Logan is a talented young man, his skill set and mechanics were pretty solid coming in but one thing about always playing in the shotgun is that your feet can get lazy at times an from a mechanical standpoint, our work was focused around keeping his feet involved in order to help him process faster," Garcia said on the Toledo quarterback.
And that fighter's mentality would be an important trait to have. After returning from his week of training with Garcia in San Diego, Woodside would need to prepare for a quarterback competition with Phillip Ely, who had beat him for the job after a competition in the 2014 season. This time, Woodside would be prepared. However, after a lengthy competition in which the Toledo coaching staff truly couldn't go wrong, Woodside would ultimately lose the competition. Weeks into the season, Woodside still did not see the field and would end up redshirting to maintain his junior status.
Now, as a redshirt-junior in the 2016 campaign, Woodside has not only won the job but he has become one of the top quarterbacks in the entire nation, garnishing national attention week after week. The Kentucky native leads the nation in touchdown passes and is also No. 1 in pass efficiency, leading to several national accolades including a listing on the Manning Award Watch List for the country's top quarterback. Not only that is Woodside on the Manning Award Watch List, but the Maxwell Award Watch List as well for nation's top player as well.
Not only has Woodside won the starting job for the Rockets, he has become an undoubted leader in the locker room as well, something that Garcia truly appreciates out of a quarterback.
"Logan gets it mentally and is a leader, his teammates love his passion and his will to succeed, that is a major part of being successful. You have to believe in, and battle, for one another," Garcia said on Woodside's leadership.
After losing two quarterback competitions in the past at Toledo, Woodside benefited from not only his past experiences but Garcia's as well.
"He's been through a lot of adversity so we talked a lot about that and how to overcome it," Woodside said.
With two quarterbacks, Jeff Garcia and Bruce Gradkowski, plus his father, Jason, as close role models to look up to, there's no telling where the future could take Logan Woodside. Being just a redshirt-junior, there is a lot of room for growth and perhaps, another training session with Garcia on the California beaches.
"I've kept in touch with his dad and him ever since they came out here for training," Garcia said, "We talked about him coming out here again but then I was hired by the Rams (as an offensive assistant) and the time wasn't there."
Following this season, perhaps we'll see a reunion between Garcia and Woodside but for right now, Garcia is sitting back and enjoying the performance of his former trainee.
"I'm thrilled for the young and fiery quarterback and wish him nothing but the best. He will continue to grow and flourish because he works at it and it's very important to him to be a leader both on and off of the field."
Toledo Scout would like to thank Jeff Garcia for contributing to this article. You can following Jeff on Twitter by clicking HERE. Toledo Scout is your home for all things Toledo Rocket Football recruiting & team news, become a premium subscriber today for premium forums, interviews, content, and so much more, featuring a free seven-day trail. Click HERE to subscribe.