One of the top receivers in the nation is headed to Austin, to play for Tom Herman and Texas. Woodard has been one of Herman’s top targets since arriving at Texas, and after months of visits, rumors, and a recruitment spearheaded by receivers coach Drew Mehringer, Woodard officially made his intentions public today, announcing his commitment to Texas in a twitter video just moments ago. After a rough 2017 recruiting class in-state for the Longhorns, landing a guy like Woodard is a huge deal for Tom Herman and the rest of the program.
— Al'vonte Woodard⁴ (@Vonte_4) July 15, 2017
THE WOODARD FILE
Woodard is the 12th commitment in Texas’ 2018 recruiting class, and the second receiver, along with Louisville slot receiver Rondale Moore. Texas previously held a commitment from wideout Justin Watkins, but he decommitted last month, and will likely end up in the SEC. Woodard fits very well in this class with Moore because they’re very different players. Moore is an electric, playmaking slot receiver, while Woodard will likely spend most of his time on the outside, due to his ability to get separation and his route running ability.
Woodard picked Texas over the other teams in his top five he named in May: LSU, Ole Miss, Ohio State and Texas A&M, along with offers from 26 other schools, including Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Baylor, Colorado, Florida State, Oklahoma State, TCU, Texas Tech, Tennessee and West Virginia. For Texas to keep him in-state, and more importantly, out of the SEC, is a huge victory for Herman, Mehringer, and the Big 12 as a whole, though the other teams in the conference may disagree. The better the players, the better the conference, and because of that, Texas getting better is a good thing.
On the field, as I said, Woodard excels at getting separation, releasing off the line, and running crisp, clean routes. He doesn’t have elite size, but he’s a freak athlete, with great hands. He’s about as prototypical of a receiver as they come, and giving Casey Thompson and Cameron Rising a target like that is great news for the Longhorns. He doesn’t have elite speed, clocking in at a 4.61, but as he showed at Nike’s The Opening event recently, he doesn’t need elite speed to make defenders look silly. His ceiling comparison is Robert Woods, with a little bit of Jordy Nelson.