Drew Woodaz knows that Clemson means family. In more ways than one. Woodaz (6-3, 210) out of Tampa (FL) Jesuit recently committed to the Tigers, becoming the seventh commitment and first linebacker to make his pledge to Dabo Swinney in the 2024 class. He is also the fifth defender in the class, joining cornerback Tavoy Feagin, safety Noah Dixon, defensive lineman Champ Thompson, and defensive end Hevin Brown-Shuler, who became the Tigers’ eighth commitment this past Saturday afternoon.
Woodaz said he knew as far back as the Elite Retreat in late January that he wanted to be a Tiger and felt like now was the perfect time to make his decision public.
Wade Woodaz, Drew’s older brother, is a linebacker who made his mark during his freshman season. He enters 2023 with 20 total tackles (5.5 for loss), 1.5 sacks, three pass breakups, a forced fumble and a blocked punt in 180 snaps from scrimmage over 14 games (one start) last season.
“I knew it was where I wanted to be when I really had time to sit down and think about my decision,” Woodaz said. “I was at the retreat and just sat down and talked to God and he led me to Clemson, and I felt that it was best for my family.”
Woodaz made sure that his dad was the first to know, then he told the Clemson coaches.
“I told them before the spring game and they were excited,” Woodaz noted. “They were kind of shocked that I took so long.”
Woodaz says that family is what sets Clemson apart.
“The environment of the staff and fans,” he confessed. “I’ve been around the whole staff, and they always make me feel like I’m with family. With family there in with my brother it helps a lot as well.”
Defensive coordinator Wes Goodwin is also the linebackers coach, and he sees the younger Woodaz much like he does Wade.
“He said he sees me everywhere,” Woodaz said of Goodwin. “He can see me playing safety and then transitioning to linebacker later in my career.”
The best part for Woodaz, however, is the chance to once again play with his brother.
“I feel like it’ll be really special because you see a lot of brothers that play at the same school, but never played together on the same team,” Woodaz exclaimed. “We’ll be able to play together for one and possibly two years. And I absolutely feel like I can come in and prove what type of player I am and make an impact on the team.”