Friday, December 15, 2006

From the Gridiron to the Army

One of the fun things I enjoy about being a season ticket holder to Maryland Football is I love getting out to the stadium early to watch the teams warm up. Over the past couple of seasons one of my favorite players to watch has been Guard Donnie Woods. He's been one of the Terps most consistent and toughest offensive linemen, playing the entire 2005 season with a banged up shoulder.

The other day I saw a newspaper article that Woods was leaving Maryland early, giving up is senior football season in 2007. He's not to jumping to the NFL for a chance at fame and the riches that come with being an NFL player. Instead, he's going to join the Army. Woods will graduate in May 2007 with a criminal justice degree. Then he's headed to Army Officer Training School with the goal of leading ground troops in Iraq. He will play his final football game in the Champs Sports Bowl on December 29th vs Purdue.

During my Maryland Football: Behind The Scenes piece I wrote back in October after the Florida State game, one thing I noticed when I was in the Terps locker room was Woods kept an American flag on his locker. His brother served two tours in Iraq and he comes from a military family.

He's giving up a fifth year of eligibility (He was redshirted his freshman season) because he fears another injury could make him unfit for military service. During that Florida State game, he suffered a neck injury and was medevaced to a nearby hospital. He's had a banged up shoulder and other injuries that offensive linemen get when battling in the trenches.

He's currently 6'3" and weighs 290. He plans on losing 60 pounds in the upcoming months to get to 230.

Since 2004 I've enjoyed watching him progress into a reliable starter during his Terps career and wish him the best. Good luck Donnie and thanks.

No comments: