When Tony Woods started his junior year at Rome (Ga.) High School, he had to reintroduce himself to his friends and girlfriend because they haven't seen him all summer. He had to introduce himself to his coach again because he returned as a new player.
Woods, a 6-foot-11, 200-pound center, transformed his game over the course of the summer and starts his junior campaign with a new outlook on his game.
"I never caught a breath," Woods said. "Sometimes I just wanted to chill and hang out with my girlfriends but I never had a down day. There was one week where I wasn't going to be running around but then I got invited to the Nike Hoop Jamboree. It never ended.
"I'm feeling real confident in myself right now but I still want to prove to people that I've gotten better."
The confidence shows now in his game. Since laying eyes on him in March at a regional AAU event, Woods has transformed his game from a being a raw project to the No. 18 overall spot in the Rivals.com 2008 national rankings. Woods said he's still a little surprised at the level he is playing at.
"I seems like I'm just a completely different player," Woods said. "Seeing myself from the spring to the end of the summer, I'm just amazed at myself."
He is amazed by the amount of schools that are showing interest, too. Woods said Georgia and Kansas State are the most consistent schools recruiting him while interest from Georgia Tech, Clemson, Florida, Miami, Florida State, Texas Tech and Virginia Tech comes at a steady rate with calls and letters. With the strong attention, Woods admitted he thought about ending the process early.
"I thought I was going to commit early just to end all of the coaches calling," Woods says, "but I thought it's better to keep all of my options open and not close any doors."
He'll make an unofficial visit to Georgia on Sept. 23 and looking at a few other trips, including a possible visit to Georgia Tech this month, in the fall.