FLORENCE, Al. – Sophomore safety J’Marick Woods started yesterday off as a relatively under the radar prospect and ended the day with two big-time division one scholarship offers to his name. Michigan extended an offer to the 6’3”, 187-pound defensive back first before Kentucky offered literally minutes later.
Currently, Woods has set his sights on improving from a physical standpoint before the start of his junior year as perhaps more offers are on the way.
“Its been going well. I’ve been working hard with my team and everything,” Woods said of his offseason. “We’ve been grinding and doing everything we can to get better. I’m working on getting my weight up and my footwork and speed up so I can make solid tackles and solid decisions when I’m on the field.”
Woods, who says his goal this year is to compete for a state championship, uses his length to shut down passing lanes deep in the secondary. He has learned how to play safety from careful examination of a current great at the position.
“I’m a long, rangy safety that can cover well,” Woods said. “I will come up and make the hit when I have to and make a solid tackle. I watched a lot of film on Eric Reid when he was at LSU, and now that he’s on the 49ers I watch a lot of film on him. I try to be the best.”
As a result of these skills, Woods has drawn collegiate attention from across the country. Yesterday, Woods received his first and second offer, with the Michigan Wolverines kicking off what was a memorable day for the rising prospect.
“They took me out of class. My coach came and got me out of class,” Woods recalled. “It was PE, so he pretty much straight up told me I got the Michigan offer. A couple minutes later my coach also told me that Kentucky called me and said they wanted me too, so I’ve got the Kentucky offer too.
“With Kentucky, I knew they were looking at me since last year, but no contact before with Michigan.”
Since he is located in Alabama, which is quite a ways from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Woods is admittedly not that knowledgeable about the Michigan program right now, although he hopes to change that.
“I don’t know much,” Woods said. “But they have a new coach, Jim Harbaugh. I know they are rebuilding, but I don’t know too much about that.”
Woods says he is eager to speak with Harbaugh, and he plans to visit both Michigan and Kentucky as soon as possible.
“No doubt,” Woods said of a potential visit. “Kentucky actually told me they want to get me and Erroll [Thompson] up there on a visit, and Michigan also told Erroll they want us to get up there on a visit.”
With a teammate also going through the recruiting process in 2016 three-star linebacker Erroll Thompson, Woods has received a bit of advice regarding the two schools that have offered so far.
“He told me he loves both of them because of the way they treat him and everything,” Woods said. “He also told me to stay humble about everything, so I’m going to have to find out for myself really.”
As his older teammate said, Woods is beginning to find out for himself what each program is about, beginning with Kentucky.
“The coach I talk to is coach [Derrick] Ansley,” Woods said. “I think they are rising up. I think their record improves year after year, and they have some more top players going into the league. So, I think they are building there.”
In addition to the interest from Kentucky and Michigan, Woods went on an unofficial visit to Alabama recently, and the talented safety says that he enjoyed the trip to the Crimson Tide’s campus.
“I went to Alabama’s A-Day last month,” Woods said. “I went on a little tour really. It went well. I liked the facilities and everything. The coaches that were there, they were cool and everything. I wasn’t really a big recruit at the time because I didn’t have a lot of film, so they didn’t really know me. They knew me, but they didn’t really know me.”
Woods says he is also hearing from Ole Miss and Arkansas State, among others.