USC junior wide receiver Robert Woods announced after Monday’s Sun Bowl that he would be foregoing his senior season to enter the NFL draft. The announcement came as no surprise for a few reasons. One, Woods had three big seasons for USC and had little left to accomplish in college. Two, he became a secondary option on the offense behind sophomore Marqise Lee, and he probably didn’t find the prospect of returning to that situation too intriguing when he could go to the NFL instead.
Woods says his diminished role didn’t play a big part in his decision, but his actual comments suggest otherwise.
“Not much,” Woods reportedly responded when asked how much of a factor Lee’s ascent played in his decision. “I mean if the coaches wanted to keep me another year they would have probably got me the ball, so that had nothing to do with play calling or anything. It was just, that’s just how it went this whole year. So that had nothing to do with it, but I just feel like the coaches prepared me.”
So my diminished role didn’t have much to do with my decision to leave, but if the coaches wanted to keep me they could have gotten me the ball more. That sounds like someone who is bothered by his decrease in targets this season.
What’s interesting is that Matt Barkley made similar comments in December. Barkley said he felt the team focused on Lee too much at times. Lee had 112 catches compared to 73 for Woods. Head coach and offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin disagreed with Barkley.
I guess we can just add this to the list of gripes Trojans fans have with Kiffin.
H/T SbB Live