November 3, 2011

Film Vault: Woodard does it all

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One of Ohio State's top targets in the 2013 class is Voorhees (N.J.) cornerback Eli Woodard. The 6-foot, 185-pound prospect has been camping with the Buckeyes for years and landed a verbal offer after an outstanding performance at the two-day underclassmen camp back in June.

Since that time, Woodard has continued to rake in verbal offers from some of the nation's best programs and now has an offer list that contains programs such as Alabama, Notre Dame, Purdue, Rutgers, and Wisconsin. In this piece, we take a look at Woodard's junior highlight film and get a glimpse at what makes him a special prospect.


After getting an up close look at Woodard over the summer, I knew that he could cover and that certainly shows on his film. Woodard has the typical traits that every evaluator looks for in a cornerback, he has quick feet, a smooth back pedal, and great hip turn.

What I think really stands out in coverage on his film is how quickly he diagnoses things on the field. You don't see any hesitation out there, whether that's making a break on the ball, turning and running to cover the deep ball, or coming up in run support, Woodard does an outstanding job of reading plays and making quick decisions. As a defensive back, you have to be able to react quickly, a split second hesitation at the college level and you're giving up six points.

The cover skills were great, but I knew they would be going in. What I didn't anticipate was how physical Woodard plays the game. Woodard is like a heat-seeking missile out there on the field. He does a great job coming up in run support, playing fast, and hitting low. Having a corner with good size that can cover and support the run is certainly a luxury and Woodard fits that bill.

There's not much to complain about on this film, physically Woodard is a long, lean kid and he'll need to continue to add some bulk to deal with the bigger, more physical receivers at the college level but he passes just about every test to be a future star in the defensive backfield.


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