On a day when USC signed a group of the nation's best 2010 prospects, one of the top 2011 players in the state of California just couldn't wait to jump on board, becoming the first USC commitment for next season.
"I had to make the deal," said Antwuan Woods (6-1, 295), a standout defensive tackle from Taft HS in Woodland Hills, Calif. "I've been liking USC all my life, so I had to make the call."
Woods said that while he'd been a strong USC lean ever since they offered him last summer, Pete Carroll's departure shocked him into confusion. But as was the case with the 2010 class, head coach Lane Kiffin and his assistant coaches quickly put out the fire.
"After meeting coach Kiffin, and Monte Kiffin and Coach Orgeron, I knew I was staying," Woods said. "They've been at 'SC before and they know how 'SC should be run. That sealed the deal for me."
Woods was especially excited about the addition of Oregeron and his fiery style.
"I've got to have a good position coach if I'm going to be around him for four years," Woods said.
After signing just one defensive lineman in this class, Woods could be the first of several defensive linemen to commit in a loaded 2011 class. Woods understands the extra responsibilities that come with being the first commitment in a class and he is looking forward to helping put together another great Trojan recruiting class.
"I want to help get a lot of good players in here and get back to winning national championships," Woods said, adding that he'd be especially excited to see the Trojans put together a defensive class that would match the talent of the 2010 offensive group. He also acknowledged that as the torchbearer for the 2011 class, he'll certainly be working his hardest to get California's best seniors-to-be in line behind him.
Woods mentioned as well how deep the defensive line class is for next season in the state of California and has no problem if the Trojans try to load up on them.
"I try to be the best at what I do," Woods said. "I can't be second to anybody. I'd definitely have to compete with anybody for a spot."
As proof, Woods will head across the country next year to participate in ESPN's Under Armour All-Star Game as one of the earliest invitees.
"I'm definitely excited to play in the Under Armour game," Woods said. "When I first saw it, I wanted to play in it so badly. I started really working to get down there to Florida because I saw how much fun they've been having."
Woods also talked about how much he likes going up against good competition, and began laughing when I told him that Seantrel Henderson had just committed to USC and could be staring Woods down on the practice field in two years.
"He's a big guy," Woods said of Henderson. "I like going against guys bigger than me, but he's too big for life. I've never seen anybody so big. It'll be fun going up against him. Hopefully he won't beat me up too much."
Woods is currently a member of the ESPN 150 watch list for the class of 2011 and provides the Trojans with a tremendous launching point for the 2011 recruiting class.
A look around at some of the best ESPN affiliate team sites have to offer today. Some of the following links may require a premium subscription to the ESPN affiliate site.
Florida State (www.noleinsider.com)