Bellflower (Calif.) sophomore defensive back Jaiden Woodbey thought he might get a scholarship offer from USC at the Trojans junior day if he was invited.
Just a week ago, Woodbey had no contact with the new USC coaching. This week, he not only has contact, but a scholarship offer to go with an unofficial visit to campus.
“The offer came very quick and I was very shocked at that moment,” said Woodbey. “But, you know, I had to keep my cool talking to coach. I was very excited talking to the head coach, but I had to stay calm and talk to him regularly.”
Thus, Saturday’s trip to USC came with no pressure or thoughts about a potential scholarship offer looming just out of reach.
“To be honest, I never really worried about getting an offer because I knew it would eventually come sooner or later,” said Woodbey. “But when I got to the junior day I was still excited.
“I never really got a chance to fully experience USC until today. It was all-around great. I liked all of the coaches, especially my position coach, Coach [Ronnie] Bradford. He talked to us all about being tough and physical, but also coachable.
“Those are three things a football player needs to know. He got that point across to everybody in the meeting today and I completely understood him. I know what he wants from us as defensive backs, and I think he knows I can give it to him.
“I also spoke with Clay Helton and really liked him… everything about USC made it a great day.”
While Woodbey has family ties to USC and grew up a Trojan fan, he isn’t quite ready to shut down the recruiting process just yet.
“USC is definitely going to be in my top three regardless,” said Woodbey. “Everything is wide open for the other two spots, but USC is definitely in my top three.”
While USC’s tradition always holds weight with prospective athletes, recruiting is always evolving and changing. The Trojans' individual recruiting attention Saturday made a lasting impression on Woodney.
“The highlight of the day would have to be meeting with each individual coach,” said Woodbey. “I get to see them on TV so much, so when I finally got to meet them in person, it was a great feeling.”