December 10, 2010
With the 2010 high school season football coming to a close it's time to look ahead to the Class of 2012. Cali High Sports is the first site to come out with its list of the top players for 2012 as we unveil our Cali High's Top 15 which will be re-evaluated and expanded to a top 25 over the spring and summer. For a look at our 2011 rankings, click here.
We continue our countdown to #1 with Inglewood wide receiver Derrick Woods who has been turning heads and burning defenses all year.
#14 Derrick Woods
Position: Wide Receiver
Schools Considering: Washington, UCLA, Arizona State
NFL Comparison: Deion Branch
Derrick Woods has phenomenal raw athletic ability but what really makes him stand out from other wide receiver's in his class are his incredibly strong fundamentals. No matter how athletic a player is, if he has poor fundamentals his room for growth and improvement are limited. But when a player has the solid fundamental base Derrick Woods has your potential is nearly unlimited and that is certainly the case with Derrick.
Derrick is a very strong route runner who is very fluid in and out of his cuts. Derrick keeps a very good base under him and really explodes off the line of scrimmage. His footwork is incredible and his body control is amazing, allowing him to get plenty of separation from his man. When the ball comes his way, Derrick looks it all the way in before taking off downfield and has shown very good hands. He rarely drops a ball and since he does such a good job of keeping his base underneath him, he often catches balls outside his chest and on diving catches he has a remarkable knack for keeping the ball from touching the ground.
While Derrick's fundamentals are excellent he has natural athletic gifts that make him perfect for a wide receiver. He has blazing speed and can turn a seemingly harmless 5 yard catch into a touchdown. Every single time Derrick touches the ball he is a threat to bring it home for 6 points. It's not just that he's fast, Derrick is also extremely quick and agile and has an arsenal of open field moves that are usually found in a running back and not a wide out.
He sees the field incredibly well and has great fluidity in his hips so that he can cut it all the way across the field without losing a step and can change directions on a dime. He does a very nice job of utilizing his height and running low to the ground, making him very hard to tackle. He has a great spin move and enough strength to spin off defenders who have a hand on him. Derrick has made guys look foolish on stutter-steps, cutbacks and sometimes simply runs by guys. As you can see from his highlight reel on the front page this kid has a knack for getting in the end zone.
A great receiver doesn't have to get a ton of catches to impact the game. Sometimes all they need to do is draw the attention of the defense, opening up the field for other receivers or running backs. Whether he gets 10 catches of 0, Derrick Woods changes the way a defense plays against his team and no matter what is happening in a game, he is a guy who is a threat to score on every play.
The next level?: Woods already has three prolific offers, from Arizona State, Washington and UCLA. All three teams are hovering in the middle of the pack in the Pac 10 and could use playmakers like Woods to help push their offenses over the top.
While Woods has these three offers in hand now, expect him to pile up many more once he hits the camp circuit this spring and summer. USC will most definitely offers Woods as will Arizona and probably Oregon. Woods could also receive some national attention from conferences all across the country.
Woods has a skill set that really translates to the next level and could see immediate time on special teams as a kick returner or in certain offensive packages. Expect a spectacular off-season and tons of offers for this budding star.
Cali High Grade: 90