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Four-star cornerback Eli Woodard of Voorhees (N.J.) Eastern has been considered a heavy Ohio State lean for months, and on Thursday afternoon he finally decided to make it official after taking yet another visit to Columbus last weekend.
"Ohio State is a University, that as it turns out, I can see myself at even if football wasn't involved," said Woodard. "I've been going there since I was in 7th grade and I knew the football side way before I knew the University, and in the end everything fit. I appreciate all of the schools that recruited me and all the coaches, but Ohio State is the place for me and I'm proud to be a Buckeye."
His visit to Columbus last weekend sealed the deal for Woodard.
"Yes it did," he said. "I had been in contact with the coaching staff for the past month and it was great to finally get to sit down and meet everyone, as well as see a few of the coaches that are still there."
The recent coaching changes at Ohio State was definitely something that Woodard kept a close eye on.
"There was a lot of change over the past year and Coach Fickell really did a great job," said Woodard. "On one visit he stated that Ohio State is bigger than any one person. That stuck with me. And the hiring of Coach Meyer really has created a lot of excitement. I sat back and watched how they wrapped up the 2012 class and I said that something special is going on."
Over the last month or two, Woodard has also made it a point to stay in touch with several other Buckeye targets and commitments.
"I got to meet Billy Price this past weekend, which was nice," said Woodard. "He seems like he can really get it done in the trenches. Cam (Cameron Burrows) and I have been in steady contact and he certainly has played a part in things the past few weeks. We're two of the top ranked cornerbacks in the country and it's great that we will be playing together. And I am just as excited to be joining an already incredible team."
While his public announcement was made a few minutes ago, Woodard admitted that he pulled the plug with his commitment a few days ago.
"I committed over the weekend while I was there and I wanted to get back to Jersey and take the time to let my family, coaches and friends know before making the announcement," said Woodard. "I have a ton of respect for the program and all of Buckeye nation. I am excited to be able to take care of tings this quickly after Signing Day so now I can prepare."
At the end, Woodard chose Ohio State over other offers from programs like Notre Dame, Alabama, California, Clemson, Michigan, Boston College, Rutgers, Nebraska, Miami and Wisconsin.
"This whole process has been a blessing," said Woodard. "I have a lot of respect for all the schools and they all have great players and offered a great opportunity that I am thankful for."
Just as important as the decision is for him, he also realizes that his family's support is necessary.
"They allowed me to make the decision," said Woodard. "They have been very supportive and I really want to thank my Mom and Dad for all they have done. They like Ohio State, the coaches and Buckeye nation as much as I do."
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