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August 19, 2009
Trojans get five-star commit
Monday night's scrimmage at the Coliseum was filled with talented football players - both on the field and in the stands.
Watching closely as one of his old friends made a splash as a freshman, Robert Woods contemplated being a Trojan.
Although he planned to wait on announcing his intentions until Serra's bye week, news broke Wednesday that Woods was indeed headed to USC.
"Yeah, it got out there," said his father, Robert Woods Sr. "We've been getting calls all day."
The 6-foot-1, 185-pound five-star wideout attended Monday night's scrimmage, which is when his contemplation first turned into a commitment.
"I talked with Coach Carroll after the scrimmage and told him I wanted to be a Trojan," Woods said. "I just told him that I thought the team did a good job, and that I could see myself playing at USC.
"The whole staff was excited. Coach Norton has been recruiting me from the beginning, so he was fired up. It was an exciting night."
In fact, the performance of one true freshman at the scrimmage may have been the straw that broke the commitment's back.
"Coach Carroll said he was really impressed with the defense out there, as well as De'Von Flournoy doing his thing," said Woods.
"He was a friend that I played against these last couple years. It was just great to see the Trojans back out there.
"A lot of people tell me that at USC you won't play until your senior year, but seeing what De'Von did kind of shoots down that argument. I try not to listen to those people anyway and I definitely want to make an impact on the field as a freshman wherever I go.
"I talked to Pete Carroll about redshirting and he said it was up to the individual. He said he's comfortable playing freshmen and he's a competitive coach, so if you can play he'll put you out there."
But freshmen weren't the only topic of conversation between Carroll and Woods.
"He was pretty excited about Ronald Johnson and Joe McKnight making special teams plays," Woods said. "It didn't look like those guys were running all that fast, but he said they're just so smooth out there that people underestimate their speed.
"I'm a Z type of guy and Damian Williams is that guy for USC. I watch him when I'm out there because he's obviously doing something right. And if I can do what he does then I'm going to have great success at the next level."
While the scrimmage had the feel of a game, it was a practice and Woods wants his team to mimic the Trojans.
"The coaches are great and I always tell my teammates that we should practice like USC because every time I go to USC's practice it's always intense and feels like a game," he said. "It's a great experience watching them.
"I really like being a leader on my team, but I try to push everyone on the team to be a captain on the team. My parents brought me up to be that type of person. They always tell me to be humble, and growing up in the church that's one of the main things because it can be taken away from you at any time."
At this time Woods says he's ready to put recruiting behind him and focus on his senior year.
"I'm done with visits," he said. "I actually already told several of the schools that I was committing. I told them that I wouldn't be able to make any trips.
"I want to focus on my team."
Stay tuned to USCFootball.com for the latest updates on Robert Woods.