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OSU FB Top 25: Storm Woods - 14

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Storm Woods rumbles through to 14th.

Storm Woods is ranked on the low side, but a great season will quickly remedy that.
Storm Woods is ranked on the low side, but a great season will quickly remedy that.
Andy Wooldridge

2013 Recap:

Woods started off as the lead back last season and looked pretty good, shifty, with some power. He also started out catching the ball well too, and that would continue throughout the season. His season took a hit though when he took a knee to the head while blocking for Sean Mannion. He was knocked out cold, and after missing two games he did not look like the same guy. He seemed hesitant, a half step slower in the hole, and Terron Ward ate into his carries after that.

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As the season went along he did ease back into it, amassing 180 yards rushing and 52 yards receiving with 2 touchdowns in his last two games. He ended with 477 yards rushing and 440 yards receiving for a tidy 917 yards from scrimmage. All in all not a bad season for him, but certainly not what anyone hoped for when they named him "Stormetheus."

2014 Outlook:

The running back position will be by committee this year, with Ward and Woods as lead backs and Chris Brown trying to work his way in. There will be enough carries for everybody, but Woods needs to do more with his chances. It seemed that he went down too easily at first contact last year, and he needs to improve his strength for this campaign. Ward is small, but he is hard to bring down. There are numerous highlights of him shrugging off contact, especially on larger runs. Woods tends to go down a little easier, although there is a lot more of him to grab. If he grew enough in the weight room, and runs a little more violently, he could have a really good year on the ground.

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His receiving game is his superior ability, but when he was catching the ball more than running it defenses keyed into what he was in the game to do pretty quickly. That said he generally makes his catches count, averaging 9.4 yards per catch which is over a yard more than Terron Ward averaged. It is lower than all the wide receivers and Caleb Smith, but it is higher than the other tight ends. This is what makes him already a decent back, as his shiftiness in space is superb.

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Woods could absolutely vault up these ranks with a solid season, he will have loads of opportunity to do so with Riley looking to reengage the running game this season. With a different sort of attitude and with another year of experience under his belt he could become a very good running back. With his dual threat capabilities it does keeps him at least this far up the board.