January 7, 2012
Woodard a 2013 Army All-American
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The 2012 US Army All-American Bowl kicked off on Saturday afternoon with future Buckeyes Adolphus Washington and Tommy Schutt participating. Schutt and Washington weren't the only story for Ohio State fans to follow as big-time class of 2013 target Eli Woodard was named as one of just a dozen early prospects to participate in the 2013 game. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound defensive back out of Voorhees (N.J.) Eastern Regional was in San Antonio to receive his jersey during the second quarter of Saturday's game. BuckeyeGrove.com caught up with Woodard to get his thoughts on his selection.
"I really couldn't believe it," said Woodard of his initial reaction to the invite. "It's a very exciting moment for myself, my family and my coaches. I really would like to thank everyone that made this possible and really respect this opportunity."
"A game like this really speaks for itself when it comes to the history of the guys that have played in it," he continued. "It's great company to be in and in the end gives me even more to work hard for this coming year."
With just a select few receiving early invites to the prestigious event, Woodard never hesitated to jump on the opportunity.
"There are other games out there, but honestly there is only one US Army All American Bowl and the history that goes behind it," Woodard said. "Everything the US Army stands for and this game means a lot to me and it is an experience that I will never forget."
As the most tradition-rich of the national all-star games, Woodard has been a fan of the game for years and grew up watching current NFL stars dominate at the Alamo Dome.
"A lot of great things have happened in this game," he explained. "I first remember seeing Adrian Peterson destroy this thing like only he can. Then the flip by Desean Jackson is a classic moment. I remember watching guys like Tim Tebow, Mark Sanchez, and the list goes on."
Woodard spent the last couple of days down in San Antonio checking out the Army Underclassmen Combine and enjoying the weather.
"San Antonio is a nice city," he said. "It was 20 degrees and snowing in New Jersey when I left so the 70 degree weather down here has been right on time. I got to check out the workouts today and saw Jersey represent very well. Was nice getting to meet a few guys like Kendall Fuller and just enjoyed as much of the day as possible."
On the recruiting front, Ohio State continues to sit in strong position for Woodard and the lockdown corner is planning on making another unofficial visit to Columbus at some point in the near future.
"I have had a chance to speak with coach (Urban) Meyer and coach (Mark) Pantoni and I know it will be nice for my family and I to make it out there and get a chance to sit down with them," he said. "My relationship with coach (Taver) Johnson is great along with coach (Luke) Fickell so it's certainly something we are going to work on to make happen in the near future."
Woodard is one of two major Ohio State targets in the 2013 class to make an early commitment to the 2013 Army All-American Bowl as Trotwood (Ohio) Madison defensive back Cameron Burrows was also announced as a participant on Saturday afternoon.
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