Charles Woods got a rare opportunity when he broke out for West Virginia in his hometown.
The Dallas, Texas native shined against TCU on a warm October night, busting out for two takeaways in the Mountaineers’ first road win of the 2021 campaign. Woods went on to earn Big 12 Co-Newcomer of the Week and WVU’s Defensive Player of the Week as he led the defense to the victory.
By the season’s end, Woods had a lot of eyes on him. Pro Football Focus gave Woods an All-Big 12 Honorable Mention nod, and he had earned enough star power to earn a ticket to the 2022 Big 12 Media Days to represent the Mountaineers.
PFF kept going with its accolades, noting that he set the Big 12 record for the lowest passer rating allowed in coverage at 22.1.
“Coming out of high school, I was underrecruited and didn’t fit the eye test,” Woods said. “I just really wanted to prove to everyone that I could play with the best and the elite.”
Now, Woods says his confidence “is through the roof right now.” He just learned to play the position in 2018, as he was a wide receiver before starting college ball. To this day, he says he wishes he was a wide receiver, but so far, his move to cornerback has worked out nicely.
Woods also got a good start to 2022, catching WVU’s coaching staff’s eye on the first day of spring practice with an interception.
However, he does recognize the risks with such high marks after one year, as he says he might have a target on his back.
“Teams know that I’m one of the best corners in the conference, so they’re going to try to try me,” Woods said. “Now I have to work harder than I ever did before.”