November 28, 2011
Woodard reacts to Meyer news
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Even before the Urban Meyer story broke, Ohio State was sitting in good shape with some outstanding junior prospects. One of the very best in that group is Voorhees (N.J.) cornerback Eli Woodard. The 6-foot, 175-pound prospect is one of the top junior defensive backs in the nation and has consistently listed Ohio State among his top schools. Woodard has made it clear throughout the process how close he was with the defensive coaches at Ohio State and he reacted to the Meyer news on Monday evening.
"I believe coach (Luke) Fickell and the coaching staff did a great job with what they had to deal with," said Woodard. "Now, if there had to be a move made, the hiring of coach Meyer certainly is an exciting one and just about as good as it can get. It should be interesting to see how everything pans out and I could definitely see myself playing for him, he's a great coach."
The announcement that Fickell would remain on the staff in some capacity is a major plus in the eyes of Woodard and his family.
"That was huge," Woodard said. "That was the one that I was really waiting on. Me and my family really love him and think he's a great coach and individual person and I thought it was very respectful to keep him on the staff."
What many may not realize about Woodard is that he is arguably closer to the previous coaching staff at Ohio State than many of the Ohio prospects, given that Woodard has not only been a regular for unofficial visits but has also been camping at Ohio State for years. Keeping Fickell on board was an important thing for Woodard.
"I've taken a lot of visits to Ohio State," he explained. "I've talked to coach Fickell every time that I've went there. He's a great coach and I've grown to like him a lot and overall I have a great relationship with him."
Woodard has labeled Ohio State as the team to beat in his recruitment and while there is still some staff shakeup that is certainly going to occur, the lockdown defender still feels the Buckeyes are in great shape.
"I feel like I have just been waiting on what they are going to do about a head coach," Woodard said. "I wasn't really sure if Fickell was going to be the head coach of the future or what was going on but overall, this probably helped them even more."
Woodard has already been to Columbus numerous times over the last year but would like to make another unofficial visit to Ohio State as soon as he can make time.
"I have to talk to my family and try and see when we can make another visit up there," Woodard said. "I definitely want to make it up there soon. Also, it will be nice to get back out there for a visit, but it's an open period and coaches are coming in to see me at my high school for the next two weeks so it would be nice to get a visit and know what kind of priority I am."
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