Catching Up With Eli Woodard: Part IV

By Alex on January 11, 2012 at 12:30p
Woodard could be representing the Buckeyes in San Antonio next yearA well deserved honor for one of the nation's best in 2013

The trend for the recruiting process has definitely been that things happen earlier for prospects in today's world than in year's past. Many players are receiving attention from the first time they set foot on the field as varsity players and many are starting to pile in offers from schools between their sophomore and junior seasons.

That trend has not only played a part in when recruits get noticed by the nation's top programs, but also has made it's way into the philosophies of the brain trusts in charge of the high school all-star games.

Until about five years ago the US Army All-American Bowl was really the only all-star game available for the country's best high school senior football players. Then, ESPN and Under Armour formed a partnership to create the UA All-America Game, followed by the Offense-Defense Bowl shortly after, and finally this year, the Semper Fidelis All-American Bowl.

Players used to be first be invited to this game, at the earliest, in the beginning of their senior season, with most prospects getting their invite towards the end of their football years. In today's world, with four entities competing to get the best players to play in their game, invitations to participate are going out much earlier, as in before their junior school years are even completed.

With the 2012 games just finishing, word has emerged on who some of the 2013 prospects that have been given and accepted invitations to the game are. One of those lucky players, Voorhees (NJ) Eastern CB Eli Woodard (6-1/185), has been invited and has accepted a chance to play in the 2013 US Army All-American Bowl in San Antonio next year, an honor well deserved after establishing himself as one of the nation's top cornerbacks, regardless of class.

With fellow cornerback Cameron Burrows (Trotwood-Madison) also getting the nod by the US Army Bowl this past weekend, the Buckeyes may have themselves a pair of commits starting at both cornerback spots for the East team come January 2013, something that would be very exciting and is definitely realistic based on how both players feel about Ohio State at this time.

We caught up with Eli to get the latest on his recruitment, how it feels to be selected to the US Army All-American Bowl, what his plan on making a decision is and much more. Join us after the jump to get the latest on this New Jersey product and see what may be in store for Ohio State in the near future.

How are things going now that the season is over? What have you been up to?

Right now, I'm just really focused on the off-season and see this off-season as the most important one ever. This year it’s about having that "true freshman" mind set and understanding that I have a lot of work ahead of me to accomplish all of my goals.

Been on any visits lately? Planning to take any visits soon?

No, I haven’t been on any visits, but I  am starting to get Junior Day invites and looking those over. I do plan to make it out to Ohio State to sit down with Coach Meyer sometime in the near future.

What schools are on your most updated offer list?

I have offers from (in alphabetical order): Alabama, Boston College, Cal, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Nebraska, North Carolina State, Ohio State, Purdue, Rutgers, Wisconsin

Do you have a list of top schools right now or schools you are favoring? Is Ohio State still #1?

Ohio State is still the school to beat, but I certainly have a lot of respect for all the schools that have offered me an opportunity to attend their university.

What coaches from the new Ohio State staff have you spoken to? What did they tell you?

I have spoken to Coach Meyer and Coach Pantoni. I was glad to hear my offer still stands and look forward to building a solid relationship with them. My relationship with Coach Taver Johnson and Coach Luke Fickell was already established, and is great as well.

What is your opinion of Coach Meyer taking over the Buckeyes?

I think it’s a great move by the university, all things considering. Coach Meyer brings an energy and sense of respect that fits the need of the program at this time.

What do you like so much about OSU?

Take away football and I can see myself as a part of the campus and community. Add football back into the picture, and what’s not to like?

When can we expect you to make a college decision?

I plan to be done making my decision anytime from now until before the start of my senior season. There are a lot of great schools out there to consider and I believe I have done a good job of evaluating all the opportunities available in order to make a decision earlier rather than later.

You will be a 2013 US Army All-American. How does that feel and what was your reaction when you found out?

It is really very humbling. This game has such a rich history and has such great values associated with it that I couldn’t ask for anything more. My head coach, Coach Spittal and the rest of the Eastern coaching staff, as well as my family and friends are all very excited.

What is the best part about getting the opportunity to play in the game next year?

It gives me even more reason to work as hard as I possibly can to reach my full potential. I never really knew where all my hard work could lead me to and at times I still don’t believe it… but I’m just thankful for everything!

2011 Highlights:


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joel121270's picture

Everyime I read about this kid I come away more impressed, can't wait to see him in Scarlet and Gray.

Baroclinicity's picture

I'm late to this thread, but you summed up my thoughts exactly.

When you're holding a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

bassplayer7770's picture

"Take away football and I can see myself as a part of the campus and community. Add football back into the picture, and what’s not to like?"

Exactly.  What's not to like about this kid?  :-)

The thought of landing Burrows and Woodard makes me smile.

Matt's picture

Really like this kid.  Stud athlete, intelligent, articulate.  I hope he commits sooner rather than later.  I have to imagine that, with the defensive line we will have in the next few years, our cornerbacks will feast on interceptions thrown from QBs under duress.  Having Burrows and Eli, two presumptive 5 stars, in same class would be unreal. 

Alex's picture

I think he will commit before summer...he is scheduled to come likely for the Jan 29 junior day and that could seal the deal...I will be shocked if he ends up anywhere but OSU

jbuda09's picture

Looks like Devante Harris de-commited from Oklahoma, he is taking an official visit Jan 27, we get the last crack at him before his final decision. Scheduled a visit for Texas A&M next week where his dad played so they will have a factor in his decision.

Alex's picture

11W Notebook Tomorrow....I think he doesn't even make the OSU visit but we will see!

aplumb100's picture

Good work Alex, as usual. Will there be a recruiting notebook today as well? 


Larryp713's picture

He does sound like a great kid; articulate, mature, and prepared. As he said, what's not to like. I hope he is the next great DB to don the scarlett and gray!



Squirrel Master's picture

Love all the recruiting updates. There is alot of talent to be had this year and next and I am sure Urban will get his grubby little hands on a few of them. Hopefully starting this weekend with some bookends!

my only concern and its not really a concern is that there has not been 1 verbal since the NCAA handed down the bowl sanction. I am sure it just happens to have fallen in a dead recruiting period with all the players prepping for the all-star games but it would really feel good to get that next recruit, whoever it may be.

My dream list this year would probably be Diamond and Dodson, Devonte Neal and Santos and finally Camren Williams and his buddy Armani Reeves. Love getting 2fer best friends! and its a realistic one as opposed to hoping for Diggs and Winston who I just don't see the possibilities.


I saw a UFO told me to have a goodyear!

buckeyeEddie27's picture

Impressive.    Great line btw....."what's not to like?"      

I know there's a game Saturday, and my ass will be there.

Maestro's picture

Kid is not afraid of contact at all.  That is great to see.  Technique can be taught but explosiveness and aggressiveness are tough to teach.

vacuuming sucks

Maestro's picture

Also, love that Woodard mentions his teammate on his own highlight video intro.  Classy.

vacuuming sucks

BuddhaBuck's picture

Perfect nickname for #13. "WOODY."

Don't text while driving.

Irricoir's picture

Why is it he looks so much bigger on video than he does in his personal pics? He commits his body. I would never believe him to deliver a solid hit by looking at the picture above. He plays big. I like it.

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

Buckeyejason's picture

How many times are we going to "catch up" with Eli? Are we going to stalk the kid?


Maestro's picture


vacuuming sucks

Alex's picture

really man?

Just because I've developed the professional relationship with the kid where he is willing to share info with me (he was the one who messaged me about the army honor and doing an interview) means I'm stalking him?

I guess I shouldn't provide updates on the site anymore huh?

Orlando Buckeye's picture

You just have to be careful about the perception.  You don't want to seem like you are a hard working professional, hustling and making connections in the recruiting world.  You gotta play it cool, man.


Next time someone asks you about our top prospects just shrug your shoulders or push the hair out of your eyes and say, " I guess"  or " I dunno, man."  Then go back to listening to your headphones.

Alex's picture

I'll go with the maybe, maybe not

Poison nuts's picture

Are you kidding me? You don't have to justify a damn thing. There's always going to be those who have to spin positives into negatives. Especially amongst us tOSU fans - we're all nuts. Keep up the good work. If multiple recruiting interviews are stalking - stalk away!

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

Run_Fido_Run's picture

Alex, you're doing an awesome job. Please keep providing the updates.

As you wrote, it's a two-way street: except for the "can't miss" 5-star kids who get offered by just about every top program in the country, many players feel like they can use a little extra exposure to help upgrade their prospects, etc. It's part of the process. Some of the marginal "2-star" kids, who end up sending coaches videos of their games, etc., just begging for a look, would die for such exposure. Meanwhile, even some of the super-studs like the attention just because they like the attention.

Stalking is what stalking does. You're not a stalker. But some of the commenters on here are stupid is as stupid says.     

ThirdLegLouie's picture

Doing voluntary interviews is comparable to stalking in your book? Sort of insulting to anyone who has ever been stalked.


Hell,with your logic, Tim Tebow has a huge lawsuit against ESPN for harassment. 

If you ain't a Silver Bullet, you're a target

ChicagoBuck's picture

Alex is there an update on Friday Night Lights? 

I am assuming Eli is invited.  Do we know about who's invited?  I mention this here, because it would be a natural time for him to commit (if that is his plan). 


Alex's picture

I am sure he will be invited....technically they can't close it to anyone so anyone can come....

Irricoir's picture

Alex is a secret recruiter for Urban Meyer. The squeaky wheel gets the grease. Keep working the unofficial angles Alex. You have to think that an inquisitive reporter showing great enthusiasm for a kids career should have some positive effect on his psyche and display to some degree, how important he is to our program and how eager we are to make him part of our family. You may not be the only one, get another report from him next month man!

I don't always take names when I kick ass but when I do, they most often belong to a Wolverine.

TIMBUCK's picture

Logan Tulley-Tillman is visiting OSU Sunday per Steve Wiltfong

Peoria (Ill.) Manuel 2013 OT Logan Tuley-Tillman confirms he'll visit Ohio State on Sunday. #Buckeyes

johnblairgobucks's picture

Nick Saban press conference tomorrow @ 2:00, to announce he will coach the Raiders.  Just a rumor?

johnblairgobucks's picture

Heard it on Lima, Ohio ESPN radio affiliate (local guy doing the 5-8 pm show) and he said an internet site confirmed the press conference, but didn't confirm that he was leaving Alabama.  Tho a local hick called in to say he heard Saban was announcing to the Raiders.

If this pans out, the 2012 recruiting world is about to change a bit.

Orlando Buckeye's picture

In two years when he comes back, where to then...Texas?

johnblairgobucks's picture

yeah, @ $8mill/year.

BobbyBuckeye33's picture

idk..I doubt he would leave college for the NFL again..he got burnt last time. he was lucky to come back and get the job he got.

John 3:16..........Be Love, Go Bucks <3

Poison nuts's picture

^^^Horse Malarkey^^^

"Do not pass me, just slow down - I can move right through you" Superchunk - Precision Auto.

blazers34's picture

So can anyone tell me what the deal is with Tommy Schutt?  Seems like he was committed to every school in the midwest and now scUM commits are calling him out by name on twitter.  Its all kind of weird to me.  Kids talking shit is nothing new, but I was surprised the pipkins kid called him out by name.

BobbyBuckeye33's picture

I am really impressed with this kids additude and maturity. These are the type of kids that represent tOSU the way it should be represented. Happy to know Meyer is going after great kids like this! :)

John 3:16..........Be Love, Go Bucks <3

BuckeyeEd's picture

I was born and raised in the Shadow of the Shoe, But had the privlidge of playing my HS Ball at Voorhees HS in NJ. It was a new HS back then and my SR year was its first winning season (1980). I am more than pumped about having this young man donning the Scarlet and Gray. Viking and a Buckeye!!!