As Tom Herman aimed to win Houston this cycle, one of the must-haves was Houston Lamar wide receiver Al’vonte Woodard and as of Wednesday, that addition became official as the four-star receiver officially signed with the Texas Longhorns.
Al'Vonte Woodard is officially a Longhorn. Woodard ranks #86 in the ESPN 300. pic.twitter.com/wtOdXLw1xZ— Longhorn Network (@LonghornNetwork) December 20, 2017
An Under Armour All-American, Woodard entered his senior season as a Longhorn after choosing Texas on July 15 over options including LSU, Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Ohio State, among others. In doing so, Woodard provides Texas with an high-upside deep threat for whichever quarterback leads the offense in 2018.
At 6’1, 193 pounds and sure to continue to bulk up before arriving in the summer, Woodard already possesses a college-ready frame. His measurable are excellent with a 4.52 40-yard dash and a 34-inch vertical leap, but Woodard seemingly plays with more top-end speed than his 40 time would indicate and as a result, he became a true deep threat for Lamar and is expected to do the same in Austin.
For Woodard, much of his expertise begins with how precise he is technically, as often evident with how he uses his footwork and change of speed and direction at the line of scrimmage to create separation, which he does habitually.
Not surprisingly, given his skillset, Woodard thrives in fade and post routes, so although he can play on the outside or in the slot, when he sees the field at Texas, it will likely often be split out wide.
247Sorts provided another analysis of what Woodard will bring to Austin:
“Woodard is a technician at the position who can put on a clinic with his footwork and ability to get open and create separation. You can also put a check mark in the size and frame departments. He is ready to compete at the college level from a developmental standpoint. A versatile receiver who can line up anywhere on the field. He can get vertical or go underneath and make a play. Has good speed, quickness, and body control.”
Despite the elite talent Woodford possesses, he was largely underutilized while at Lamar, as hauled in just 30 receptions for 628 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior and 90 receptions for 1,923 yards and 26 scores throughout his three-year career.
By the third year of his tenure at Texas, there’s much to like about what Woodard can become as a deep threat. But in the meantime, along with joining Brennan Eagles and potentially Rondale Moore as part of the ‘Horns 2018 class, Texas returns a deep wide receiver corps, which will include seniors John Burt and Jerrod Heard, juniors Collin Johnson, Devin Duvernay and Lil’Jordan Humphrey, as well as sophomore standout Reggie Hemphill-Mapps.
Without injury or attrition, Woodard’s debut season may be spent as a redshirt while observing more experienced talent at the position.