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Ken SugiuraKen Sugiura

Quotable Tech signee Jordan Woods on his recruitment

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ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit has already picked Georgia Tech to win the ACC. He predicted another significant win on Saturday morning. HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

HYOSUB SHIN / HSHIN@AJC.COM

Probably the most acclaimed member of the Georgia Tech signing class is defensive end Jordan Woods, a four-star prospect (Rivals) out of Citra, Fla. Woods chose Tech over Tennessee and Miami, among others. Woods, 6-foot-4 and 255 pounds, sounds like he has potential as a speed rusher. Some notes form a rather entertaining conversation.

Believes in Tech

Woods has drunk deep from the Tech gospel. Listening to him, it was evident either a) he listened very closely to what coaches told him on his visit; and/or b) he has a future in recruiting.

“If you have a degree from Georgia Tech, you have probably the best degree with the best city in the world.”

He was impressed that coach Paul Johnson told recruits and their families that “if you don’t want to be a student, don’t come here, because you have to be a student. Other schools will be like, you’ll do this. We’ll put you in a criminal justice class.”

“A lot of schools will tell you, ‘Oh, look at the stadium, look at this, look at that.’ Coach Johnson’s going to tell you, our stadium (only) holds almost 60,000, but guess what? Coca-Cola’s right down the street.”

“We went 3-9, but nobody said anything when Florida went 4-8. When every other school had a bad year, nobody said anything.”

“If being on television was how the NFL (evaluated) to make you a draft pick, then tell me why there’s a Division III player for Tampa Bay. Tell me why he’s starting.”

(Woods was referring to guard Ali Marpet, a rookie from Hobart College.)

On choosing a school based on its national championships: “When the guy who’s offering you a job says, ‘I need a guy who can turn the company around,’ 16 national championships isn’t going to help you.”

(Alabama has won 16 national championships.)

“Not everybody can go (to Tech). They’re those certain type of guys who you want to have in a back alley with you but you also want them to put on a suit and tie and go to a debate with you.”

On schools with better facilities: “The toys they’re giving you are not going to last.”

How he became a Yellow Jacket

Woods said he was first contacted during his junior year by A-backs coach Lamar Owens, who recruits north Florida. He admitted he was just “playing around” and feigned interest. He was still playing around when he met Owens in person and he gave Woods a packet of information about Tech.

“I consider it, consider it, but I’m still playing around,” he said. “Me and him are getting closer. I say I’m considering Georgia Tech. Not playing around anymore. Then I start looking at toys, looking at what big schools can offer you. They’re getting pushed out of the way, pushed out of the way, but they’re still hanging by a thread.”

Then he went on his visit, he said, “and it blows my mind.”

Said Woods, “God planted that, because I had no idea I’d be going to Georgia Tech. No idea.”

Final answer

How he knew Tech was going to be his choice: When Tennessee coach Butch Jones came to his home in Citra following Woods’ visit to Tech and made his sales pitch. He likened it to meeting or seeing other girls after already finding the “one for you.”

Said Woods, “You start looking at them and they all start looking the same. You look good, but you don’t excite me anymore. You don’t excite me like this girl excites me.”

On the field

Woods will bring considerable athletic versatility. For his school’s track team, he runs the 100- and 200-meter dashes and also throws the shot put and discus. He said his fastest 100 time is 11.3 seconds. When his team was in a 7-on-7 passing league, he played safety.

“You show me their best guy, and that’s who I’m going to go against,” he said.

 

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