ELTON, La. - Once in a lifetime a coach gets a five star player if they are lucky, unless of course you coach at a program like Long Beach (Ca.) Poly, Miami (Fla.) Carol City or a Stone Mountain (Ga.) Stephenson. But for a tiny town like Elton, Louisiana, they've never seen anything like defensive tackle Al Woods and it may be another quarter-century before they do again.
"I play my hardest every play," Woods said. "I play and work until I can't go anymore. I feel like I can't lose a play. If I get beat on a play then I take it personally, I am going to really bring it then. Last year I took it easy on my teammates some, but this year coach doesn't want me to, he tells me to go hard on every play."
Woods had offers from across the country including the likes of LSU, Oklahoma, Southern Cal, Miami and many others. However, he chose the in-state Tigers early in the process.
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"I had a blast out there when I went for a camp as a sophomore," Woods said. "I just love it out there. I wouldn't want to go anywhere else. Coach Miles is a funny guy and he'll cut up with you and all, but he also takes care of his business."
The 6-foot-4, 329-pound Woods runs the 40-yard dash in 5.1 seconds. He is ranked as the top player in Louisiana and the nation's No. 16 player overall. Woods has the drive to make it past the college level.
"I want to be in the NFL one day," Woods said. "When I get there I don't want to just be some guy that played in the NFL, I want to be known as the greatest defensive tackle of all time. I can't stand to fail, it makes me sick to fail. I feel like that if my team loses it is on my shoulders, so I'm always working harder."
Just because Woods is a five star, don't think he is content with where he is at. He wants to move up in the rankings and looks for every advantage that he can get.
"I want to be the best," Woods said. "I watch Andre Smith's film all the time on Rivals because I know he is the best offensive lineman in the nation. I know that I will have to go against him someday in college probably and I want to be able to beat him. Gerald McCoy is the only defensive lineman ranked ahead of me and he's a great player and I'm always looking at what he does so I can get better."