Richton Park, IL (Rich East)


    6-2, 185 - Fr.*/So.

    1996: Woods, a redshirt freshman equally adept at passing and running, will battle with John Fox for the No. 3 quarterback job behind starter Brad Otton and backup Matt Koffler in 1996.

    JOHN ROBINSON SAYS: "Woods is a young, athletic player who brings a lot of things to the quarterback position. He has a good future. He'll compete for the No. 3 job in 1996."

    1995: Woods redshirted as a freshman quarterback in 1995, his first year at USC.

    HIGH SCHOOL: He was a 1994 Parade All-American, Super Prep All American, Blue Chip All-American, College Sports All-American, Schutt Scholastic Coach All-American, USA Today All-USA honorable mention, Dallas Morning News National Top 100, Super Prep All-Midwest, Blue Chip All-Midwest, Detroit Free Press Best of the Midwest, Gatorade Circle of Champions Illinois MVP, Chicago Tribune All-State first team, and Chicago Area MVP as a senior at Rich East High in Park Forest (Ill.). He passed for 2,240 yards and 22 TDs with just 8 interceptions in 1994 while rushing for 700-plus yards and 7 scores. As a 1993 junior, he threw for 2,395 yards and ran for 788 yards while scoring 13 TDs. He was a 3-year starter.

    PERSONAL: His brother, Pee Wee, plays football at Oklahoma. His sports hero is Deion Sanders.

    Comparisons to Rodney Peete and Charlie Ward: "Right now, I just want to prove I can play the game at this level. I don't even worry about those comparisons right now, but it is nice."
    Passing versus running: "I'd rather pass for 20 yards. I just run when I have to. It's fun to run and the crowd likes it. I was a passing quarterback in high school. My senior year, all we did was pass...I'm just trying to prove I'm a quarterback and that I can pass the ball."

    USC offensive coordinator Mike Riley: He's very, very talented athletically...He handles his body so well. He is a quarterback who can make something happen because of his athletic ability. He has a quick release and he wants to be good...He is improving in the passing game. He's a very exciting athlete and is very football-aware."