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May 18, 2009

Alabama's Woodson waits on clearinghouse approval

Chase Goodbread
Rivals.com College Football
Senior Writer
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. - Pending approval from the NCAA Clearinghouse, Alabama signee Rod Woodson has met eligibility requirements and will enroll at Alabama at the end of this month, Olive Branch (Miss.) coach Scott Samsel said.

"All that's left is to get that transcript through the clearinghouse," Samsel said.

Woodson (5 feet 11, 200 pounds) was rated a four-star prospect by Rivals.com as a safety. One of only two defensive backs in Alabama's signing class, Woodson figures to provide depth early in his career in a secondary that will graduate six seniors after 2009.

"It's been a hard year for him and he's had to put in a lot of extra work," Samsel said. "I think at this point there was just a lot of relief on his part that it's over and behind him."

Woodson received a passing score on the ACT last month, but he still needed to continue working toward eligibility in his core classes. With that hurdle now cleared, clearinghouse approval is all that stands in Woodson's way. The NCAA Clearinghouse must approve all incoming freshmen.

"I've known him since the ninth grade and he's a good kid," Samsel said. "Like a lot of freshmen do, he kind of dug himself a hole early and spend the rest of his time digging himself out. But he did it, and it sets a good example for the younger guys."

Samsel said Woodson easily ranks among the top defensive backs he has coached.

"I think Rod without a doubt throws his body around more than any kid I've ever coached, and I've had some good players," Samsel said. "And that's not taking away from the others - [Justin] Woodall was a little bit different type player, Jeff Dukes was a different type player. Wesley Smith was a four-year starter at Memphis and was a big hitter, but not so violent like Rod can be. And Rod has a lot of athletic skills."

Chase Goodbread is a senior writer for BamaOnLine.com. He joined BOL in 2007 after spending 14 years at the Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville, Fla. covering sports ranging from high school to Super Bowl XXXIX.
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