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December 8, 2011Oklahoma seems to have a knack for finding the few receivers in the country who would rather keep things quiet than talk endlessly like so many of their counterparts. However when the newest Sooner, Inglewood, Calif. standout Derrick Woods, made his decision to become a Sooner public his brevity was as noticeable as his meaning.
"I just committed to Oklahoma. Boomer Sooner!" Woods said via text early Wednesday morning.
Later, SoonerScoop.com had a chance to catch up with the nation's No. 98 overall prospect to see just what he had to say about his commitment. Though he may not always itch to talk about himself, it was clear Woods could do little to contain his excitement about his future as a Sooner.
"Well, I had been thinking about it for a minute, I just felt that Oklahoma was the right place for me," he explained. "Talking to my friends, I told them 'yeah it's far from home but it's another home for me'. I felt like I would be comfortable and that I made the right decision."
It was that level of comfort that wasn't just created by the coaches and players but Woods says it was the entire community of Norman that made him feel most at home. A comfort that came about even though Woods admits the cold weather on his official visit weekend of Nov. 26 was a deterrent from getting to meet even more people around the campus.
"I mean, it's not really the weather, I didn't get to do much but that wasn't really a big deal, Oklahoma is a great school and a great place for football and the town and the type of people that are there make it cool," he said.
While his comments may center on a broader picture of the people around campus, there is no question that fellow Californians Tony Jefferson and Kenny Stills played a big role in his choice. In particular, the chance to spend some time under the tutelage of Stills was meaningful to Woods.
"Yeah, they told me once I come in that they would take care of me and the transition would be easy you know the waking up and the workouts, and that's what we we're going to do. They were just going to help me get to work," he said.
"I mean (working with Stills) that's good for me. Actually, that's how I started Shaquelle Evans that was at my school and I kind of watched and critiqued what he was doing so I learned faster."
Woods, who will be visited by Jay Norvell tonight, says that when he informed the fourth-year Sooner assistant that he had plans to become a Sooner he couldn't stop himself from loosing his normally cool demeanor.
"He was going wild, he was saying how exciting it was and was just really happy about it. He was telling me how good he felt about it," Woods recalled.
Woods says on the visit his mom is simply wanting to know about Oklahoma's academic situation and what plans Norvell has for her son, who is thinking of majoring in business.
Such peace of mind is even more important for a parent sending their child so far from home, which again brings the question of what it was that made Woods so sure he wanted to get farther from home.
"I just wanted to try something new," he said. "Actually, I'm used to the south, when it's hot it's hot, when it's cold, it's cold. I used to stay in Alabama, so I know what it's like down there."
But even with that distance, Woods left no doubt about the degree of his commitment.
"That's official, it's not changing."