Tony Woods knew he needed to add some weight to his long 6-foot-10 frame. His solution? Getting a job at the local Bojangles fast food restaurant.
In four months of working there, the Rome (Ga.) High School prospect said his new employment has helped pack on some pounds.
"Yeah, eight pounds," Woods said with a laugh. "Now I just have to make sure it's good weight."
The added weight has helped give a little more strength to his 215-pound frame.
"He's so much stronger. I'd say he's gained 20 to 25 pounds since this time last year," his coach Keeth Jones said. "He's benching 200 pounds and squatting 315. Balls he used to catch and try to put back in, he's scoring now. Last year, he wasn't doing as much of that."
Woods said he sees the same difference with his bigger frame.
"I used to just get pushed around but now I'm scoring more and one plays and doing more things," Woods said.
Woods is averaging a double-double this season, scoring 11.5 points and rebounding 11.5 rebounds a game while blocking four shots a contest for Rome (4-2). While his numbers aren't entirely earth shattering, coaches are taking the time to travel an hour and 15 minutes north of the Atlanta airport to see the big man.
To date, Jones said Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Tennessee, UConn, Kansas State, Louisville, Clemson and Georgia Tech have all bee in to see Woods this season. The home state school has been the most aggressive, Jones said.
"Dennis Felton has been in the most," Jones said. "He really, really wants (Tony)."
Woods said Florida, Connecticut, Cincinnati, Georgia, Alabama and Auburn have offered scholarships.
"Just about anybody in the South has come by to see me this year," Woods said. "It's pretty cool to see all of these head coaches coming up here to see me."
Woods said he hasn't thought about trimming his list just yet but is entertaining the thought of having a wish list.
"I haven't got to the point of eliminating anyone yet but I like the idea of having a top five," Woods said. "I want to go somewhere that I'll play. I'll be happy to win a championship but I want to play early. That's what I'm looking for.
"I've been impressed with Florida, Alabama and Connecticut the most so far."
Jones said he is looking forward to seeing how well his big man finishes his progression while at Rome High School.
"He's still got a year and a half to go but if he continues to work hard and sees himself getting better, I can see why people like his ceiling so much," Jones, who coached Amare Stoudamire in high school at Lake Wales High School in Florida, said. "Billy Donovan likes his future. He was just here and offered him right after watching him. At the end of the day, Tony is a 6-10 kid that runs a 4.8 40-yard sprint and that is still not a finished product."