December 31, 2011

No breaks for Woodard

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CHERRY HILL, N.J. - The term 'off-season' isn't in the vocabulary of Voorhees (N.J.) Eastern Regional cornerback Eli Woodard. The 6-foot-1, 185-pound junior is already hitting the gym hard to prepare, not only for his senior season, but for the next level. Woodard has been working out at Power Train Sports Institute in South Jersey. was on hand on Wednesday afternoon to watch Woodard's workout session.

"I feel like it's real serious at these workouts," said Woodard. "Just like the workouts with my legs, in the past I've just really focused on running and conditioning but I didn't really take into account the stuff they have taught me here."

"There's a lot of order too," he continued. "I used to just lift and I didn't really chart stuff but here, they chart everything. It's kind of like (the training) in college."

Power Train's Cherry Hill location trained more than 50 current NFL players during the off-season. Seeing all of the NFL players that have come through the facility and knowing that Woodard is doing a similar workout routine, has been a big motivating tool for the lockdown defender.

"Just looking at the pictures (of the NFL players) motivates me," he said. "If they made it doing this stuff, it's like I can make it to their level or the best level that I can be at."

Wednesday's workout focused on the lower body, something that Woodard admits he sort of neglected in the past. The added strength and explosiveness Woodard is gaining should reap huge benefits on the football field next fall.

"I'm just trying to make an overall improvement," he explained. "I'm working on my strength and I think that will improve my speed as well. I'm pretty fast already but I never really trained my legs at all, and they are really training my legs real hard. I feel like next year I'll really be able to blow up some people. I did a little bit this year but next year I feel like I'll be able to deliver some really big hits."

Power Train has put Woodard on a custom workout plan that is designed to be 12 months long. The plan is carefully designed to be not only sport specific but position specific as well. Wednesday's exercises clearly put Woodard's legs to the test.

"They're all painful," he laughed. "Probably the band walk (is the hardest part of the routine). The one where you put the bands around your ankles and have to walk side-to-side, that one hurts."

On the recruiting front, nothing has changed in Woodard's mind since the season ended. Ohio State still sits at the top of his list along with Notre Dame and Rutgers. One thing that has helped the Buckeyes greatly, however, is retaining cornerbacks coach Taver Johnson. Johnson and Woodard have built a strong relationship over the years from Woodard camping with the Buckeyes during the summers.

"That was real big," Woodard said. "That's probably the biggest reason that I still like Ohio State, because he's still there. I don't know what I would be thinking about right now if they had another coach at DB's."


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