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Despite external pressures, 4-star safety Jaiden Woodbey still committed to Ohio State

His talents will bolster a secondary that’s been among the best in college football of late.


What Jaiden Woodbey does on and off the football field has always been a little different than everyone else. It's why he calls himself a "certified weirdo" on Twitter and it's what earned the four-star safety a scholarship offer from Ohio State.

Regardless of any commitment, Woodbey is still working on his game in the hopes of making his mark as a Buckeye. The California native took some time out of his busy schedule to talk with us about why he picked OSU, his intense work ethic, and what he'll miss most about living out on the west coast.

(Note: Remarks lightly edited for clarity.)

Land-Grant Holy Land: Every player’s experience is different, so what was the recruiting experience like for you? Did you have a lot of people in your ear?

Jaiden Woodbey: It wasn’t hard, but it wasn’t easy at the same time. I did have a lot of people in my ear, like your parents, your coaches, your friends. I knew who to actually listen to and who to actually believe. I mean, it still goes on, I thought that it would change when I committed, but it actually has gotten a little bit more serious.

LGHL: With all the scholarship offers you received, why did you finally decide on OSU?

Woodbey: I picked Ohio State because I felt like the coaches were going to put me in the best opportunity to win. They had three defensive backs drafted in the first round this year, which is unheard of. So, you know, it’s like you want to go to a school that can actually say they can do that. I felt like OSU, they produce a lot of guys in the league, so you know it’ll be a great fit for me.

LGHL: Having committed, is it difficult to stay focused knowing that you’re already heading to OSU?

Woodbey: It’s the same schedule as if I had no offers. Just because I’m committed, it doesn’t mean anything. I still have to work until and after my signing date. That’s just always been my mindset. I’ve always grown up that way and my parents have always taught me to work hard no matter what, and that no matter what you’re going through, just know that you can persevere.

LGHL: You refer to yourself as a “certified weirdo” on Twitter. Why?

Woodbey: I just feel like what I do is a little bit different. Me driving an hour and a half every day to go to school, I feel like that’s different. I feel like my work ethic can take me to places I never would’ve imagined. I feel like I can outwork anybody and I know I will outwork anybody, as well. I’m cut from a different cloth.

LGHL: So, you’ll be living in Ohio for the foreseeable future. Being a California native, what will you miss most about living out on the west coast?

Woodbey: Waking up to some nice weather. The food, as well. They have some great Mexican food out here.

LGHL: There were more than just a few great hip-hop albums released in the past year. What are your top five?

Woodbey: My top five are Chance The Rapper’s album (Coloring Book), Kendrick Lamar’s album (DAMN.), those are my top two albums. I listen to those everyday. Culture by Migos is third, More Life by Drake is fourth, and I don’t know if I have a fifth.