Verbal View: Alex Woods Bolsters West Virginia Secondary with Commitment

Alex Woods will bring a smooth style of play to West Virginia following his second season of competition at Lackawanna College this fall.


One of the first things that jumps out in watching Woods is the smooth way in which he backpedals and transitions in coverage from his cornerback position. He moves with very little wasted motion, and his balance appears to be spot on as he reacts to route changes from his opponent. Woods picks up the ball quickly on deep routes, and gets into position to challenge the receiver once the ball arrives. He is good at breaking up passes as he gets to his opponent, and excels at raking and ripping at receivers' hands and arms to deny possible receptions.

At six feet, two inches in height, Woods has one of the most desired qualities for a cornerback -- height. He takes advantage of it as described above, but it also doesn't hurt him in his breaks and changes of direction. While he doesn't sink as low as some others in his initial steps, he covers a great deal of ground and get to the intersection of pass and receiver on a consistent basis. He also uses his hands well when playing press coverage, and shows the ability to replace them and deliver additional pressure when receivers break initial contact.

Woods also shows good reading skills in zone coverage, and has played off the ball in the middle of the field as an extra defensive back. That versatility will definitely help him in his early career at West Virginia.

"West Virginia looked at my film early at Lackawanna and said they liked my ability to cover," Woods said. "They said they needed some corners, and I think I can shut people down."


Woods is so smooth on his backpedal that he doesn't swing his arms. That's a bit of a technique break, where defensive backs are taught to pump their arms to help with the overall backwards motion. That could be something that he has to add or work on at WVU. He admits that he got by on raw talent early on, but has been working hard on improving his technique in preparation for his 2016 season at Lackawanna and his future at WVU.

Woods isn't a form tackler, as his highlights show more of a grab and hold technique than a classic fire and wrap on receivers. He'll have to improve in this area, as he will face running backs on sweeps and outside runs much more than he did in junior college.


WVU  zeroed in on Woods when he came to Lackawanna after falling short of initial eligibility requirements out of high school. The Mountaineers got a lot of looks at him while recruiting current players Trevon Wesco and Kyzir White, and liked many of the fundamentals they saw from the North Carolina native. Woods also comes with the ability to enroll early (spring semester in 2017). It's rare to find a player with the height and smoothness of motion that Woods has, and while he didn't have huge numbers during his first year at Lackawanna, it's easy to see the building blocks are in place that could make him an excellent defender in Mountaineer backfields of the future.

"Reading the quarterback is a big important part of my game," Woods said. "Looking at steps, the receiver breaking point, his head turn, and things like that. That all helps me with my coverage."

West Virginia 2017 Football Commitment List


Mountaineers Daily Top Stories