By Missy Chappell
This fall, if you’ve got 9 hours and 9 minutes of time to kill, it might be worth it to make the 615 mile drive to Stillwater, Okla., to catch Tuscola standout Hunter Woodard. He will trade in the gold on his jersey for orange as he takes the field for the Cowboys of Oklahoma State University.
Woodard didn’t grow up with dreams of playing for the Cowboys, but when offensive line coach Josh Henson contacted him on Twitter this past April, Woodard started thinking Stillwater.
“I didn’t really know much about them, but the coach reached out to me and we started talking on Twitter,” said Woodard. “I think we talked for an hour the night he reached out to me. I started researching it (OSU) and realized it’s a really good program. It interested me, so we set up a visit.”
With regards to his Twitter account, Coach Andy Romine said it was instrumental in getting Woodard an offer.
“We worked like crazy last year about this time on his highlight tape. Then he did the right thing and got to some one days. He did really well there. His Twitter was instrumental in it (his recruitment), because it’s hard to get recognized down here.”
Bob Woodard helped his son with the initial set-up of the account.
“My Dad started it,” Hunter said. “We were posting videos of me lifting and some of my numbers, as well as my highlight tape just to see if we could get it out there to some coaches.”
Since NCAA rules do not allow coaches to directly contact a recruit via telephone. Twitter is a tool used by many in order to make contact and develop interest.
Oklahoma State became the front runner in Woodard’s school search on the very first visit.
“It was when I went and met the coaching staff,” Woodard said “They all talked to me about how they have team prayer. I really liked the character of the coaching staff.”
It wasn’t just Hunter who liked OSU from the beginning. His Mom Jennifer Woodard said, “It felt like home going there. We had coaches tell us that when you go to the school that you are to be a part of, you’ll know. You’ll feel at peace. You’ll feel at home there, and we did.”
The full story can be found in the Wednesday, Dec. 27 edition of The Tuscola Journal.