September 10, 2012

Woodson revaluating school list after UK visit

On August 17th, 2012 no one would have thought that 2013 post player Dominic Woodson would be taking a visit to the University of Kentucky. But, things change, as they often do in recruiting.

After cutting his list down to ten schools on the 17th, Woodson began to hear more and more from Kentucky assistant coach Orlando Antigua, a relationship was born. After getting more comfortable with Antigua, Woodson thought it would be best to not only add the Wildcats to his list, but to head down for a quick weekend visit.

"The whole strategy that we had set up changed about two or three weeks ago when Kentucky began calling on a regular basis," said Woodson's mentor Kevin Robinson,

"Before, UK had shown some interest but didn't seem serious about recruiting Dominic. But we told them recently, if they're going to show interest in Dominic then we're going to show a ton of interest to Kentucky."

A 6-foot-9 post player with a skilled game and wide body, Woodson checks into the 2013 Rivals150 as the no. 36 player in the country; good enough for a four-star ranking. A native and resident of Texas, Woodson will be spending his senior year at Huntington (W.V.) Prep, where he'll play with another Kentucky target in 2014 sensation Andrew Wiggins. The proximity of Huntington to Lexington is a good thing according to Robinson, as Woodson will have several opportunities to return to campus if he wishes.

As for the visit that just ended, it's safe to say that Woodson was blown away.

"To be honest, he was a little overwhelmed by Kentucky," Robinson said, "I don't think that he understood exactly what UK has to offer. It seems like a good fit but we're still gauging it all, the autograph requests and bright lights at a place like Kentucky can be great; but I also worry they could potentially be a distraction.

"But the visit was great. Nerlens Noel was a good host, Dominic told me; they knew each other from last year when Dominic attended Vermont (Ver.) Academy and they played in the same league as Nerlens."

After seeing the campus and the facilities, Woodson had a chance to play some pick-up basketball with the Kentucky players at open gym. But more importantly, he had plenty of individual time to spend with the Kentucky coaching staff. As Robinson said, with Kentucky being the newest player in the recruitment, building a quick and meaningful relationship is going to be very important in Woodson's ultimate decision.

Now that Woodson is starting to cut his list down even further, there are just a few schools that are starting to stick out above the rest.

"The list is still at the original ten plus Kentucky, but that will change soon. The ones who are standing out to Dominic the most right now would be Kentucky, Baylor, North Carolina State, Texas A&M and Oklahoma. Those aren't his final five, but they're the unofficial top five," said Robinson.

Skill, athleticism and high IQ aside, Robinson thinks that Woodson will have a chance to make an immediate impact at the college level because of his approach to the game. Known as a hard-nosed player who is skilled but will also do the dirty work, Woodson can bring all the intangibles to the table that coach John Calipari looks for in a recruit.

"He has the size, motor and best of all he has a mean streak," Robinson said, "You can't teach a big guy a mean streak. That's a dangerous weapon that's going to make him a great player.

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