Antwaun Woods tears it up at USC linemen Camp

Woodland Hills Taft is one of the top prep football programs in the state and three of the Toreador's top prospects attended USC's June 14 Offensive/Defensive Linemen Camp. One of the most impressive defensive tackles at the camp and certain to be one of the most highly sought after prospects on the West Coast, was Taft's Antwaun Woods (6-1, 285).

Brandon Huffman, Scout.com West Coast expert said, "I believe Antwaun Woods and Jalen Grimble (Bishop Gorman/Las Vegas) will be the top two 2011 defensive tackles on the West Coast."

Woods had some high praise about his experience at USC on June 14.

"It was the best camp I have ever been to," said Woods. "It was a great experience and I now see how their program is and why they win so much. Anybody would want to be a part of that program."

And much like his teammate and USC verbal commit D.J. Morgan, Woods has been a longtime-fan of the Trojans.

"I've always loved SC ever since I was little, but I was never really that serious about it," said Woods. "After going to the camp and seeing what it's like, I'm in love with the Trojans now."

In fact, Morgan, Woods, Brent Williams and Brandon Mitchell all have high interest in USC and have talked about the desire to all play together for the Trojans.

"That would be real good, that's like our goal," said Woods about D.J. Morgan, himself, Brandon Mitchell and Brent Williams all attending USC. "We were talking about that after we were at USC and we all love USC. That's why we're trying to handle our business, so we can do that."

Woods was one of a select group of players who spent considerable time talking individually with the USC coaches.

"I talked to Coach (Rocky) Seto, the D-line coach (Jethro Franklin), I talked to Coach Pete Carroll and they were basically saying how they loved me and I'm their top guy (DT)," said Woods. "They also said I really impressed them, was glad I came to their camp and they were telling me what I have to do to become a Trojan. They were basically saying they were going to offer me, but I need to get my grades in order. I have to make up a couple of D's and I'm taking a couple of night classes during the summer."

Now that he is beginning to realize the great opportunities potentially he will have available to him, like a scholarship offer from USC and other elite schools, Woods said he is ready to make academics a main priority. And at some point, it's just a matter of getting older, maturing and understanding what's truly important. Woods is at that point and is an extremely impressive young man.

"Yeah, I need to change my focus and get serious about school, so I'm ready to play at the next level," said Woods. "Without good academics, you can't play at the next level.

The USC coaches spent a lot of individual time coaching Woods at the camp and he shared with us a few of the tips the coaches gave him that will make him a better player in the future.

"They told me how to get off the ball fast and how to move around quicker , and how to use my hands more," said Woods. "And the biggest thing I took from the SC camp is how to push myself, they forced me to push myself and it was really big for me. They helped me and it worked. The way they get you pumped up makes you mentally tougher and makes you mentally ready to go out and play." Woods said he was impressed with all of the USC coaches, especially his position coach, Jethro Franklin.

"He's a great coach and he pays attention to detail," said Woods about Coach Franklin. "He tells about every little thing you need to fix. He basically wants you to be crisp and that's what I liked about him. He just wants everybody to on point."

He was also a little surprised with Pete Carroll's easy going, yet energetic personality.

"Yeah, I was surprised, I thought he would be a quiet observer, but he was talking, coaching, friendly to everybody and I didn't know he was so hyped," said Woods when asked if he was surprised by how easy going and energetic Coach Pete Carroll is. "I love coaches like that and I can definitely see myself playing for Coach Carroll."

Prospects like Woods often become great players and programs like Taft remain top program year after year because of great coaching. Woods had some very flattering comments about Taft defensive line coach, Chris Rizzo.

"Coach Rizzo has a big impact on me, "said Woods. "When I first came to Taft, I wasn't sure if I was going to play varsity or not. I thought I was going to play JV, but my cousin, Craig Noble (Washington) was telling him I should play under him. So Coach Rizzo let me come out for varsity practice and hje taught me the basics, he taught me right and he taught me everything. I backed up Craig as a freshman and started on the O-line. Coach Rizzo has helped me with my footwork, making sure I doing okay in my classes and he's really had a big impact on me."

Next up for Woods is a camp at Penn State he will attend with teammate Brent Williams. We'll talk to Woods and Williams when they return from happy Valley.


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