- Garry Paskwietz, Publisher, WeAreSC.com
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USC junior wide receiver Robert Woods has announced he will give up his final year of college eligibility to enter the 2013 NFL draft.
“I feel like I accomplished a lot at USC and I’m very prepared to play at the next level,” Woods said in a Sun Bowl post-game radio interview. “I would like to thank my coaches and teammates for everything they helped me with in my career at USC.”
Woods was a three-year starter for the Trojans and leaves as the all-time school leader in receptions – 252 -- to go along with 2,930 receiving yards. He was also a tremendous kickoff and punt returner, with 4,619 all-purpose yards in his career.
Woods made an immediate impact at USC as a true freshman in 2010 when he earned a starting spot for Lane Kiffin’s first game as Trojans' coach. Woods showed a knowledge of the playbook and a fierce competitive nature as he led the Trojans with 65 catches and a USC freshman record with 1,817 all-purpose yards.
Woods injured his ankle during a pickup basketball game in spring 2011, and it was an issue that lingered throughout the season. That didn’t prevent him from setting a USC single-game mark for most catches (17) against Minnesota and a Pac-12 record 111 catches on the season. He ended the season by being named an ESPN All-American.
Woods had surgery on his ankle after the 2011 season and sat out spring drills and off-season workouts prior to the 2012 season. When the year began, it was clear that the top spot in the USC receiver corps belonged to Woods’ former high school teammate, Marqise Lee, who went on to be named the Biletnikoff Award winner. Woods still managed to catch 76 balls in 2012 to go along with 11 touchdowns.
Woods prepped at Gardena (Calif.) Serra, where he won state titles in football and track.
Woods reported that his NFL draft evaluation had a second-round grade on the high end. He has been compared to former USC receiver Steve Smith -- a second round pick by the NY Giants in 2007 -- as a savvy route runner and good blocker with football smarts.