Sometimes when studying a college prospect, there are things that just really pop out about a guy. Sometimes it’s their speed, their strength, or their personality.
For this small school profile, we were lucky to speak to a guy blessed with all of the above, DB Case Woodard JR, from little known Catawba College.
Now, if the name sounds familiar, it may be because his Father is R&B legend and Grammy award winner, CASE. Despite his Father’s legendary status, Woodard has taken a completely different road, one where he has traveled himself. Case has been through a lot over the years, between dealing with the fame of his Father, to self inflicted wounds that almost derailed his time at school.
Woodard Jr bounced back strongly, leading his team in interceptions in 2015, breaking up 4 passes in one game against Mars Hill too. The 6’0, 170 lbs, cornerback went on to pick up another 4 interceptions in 9 games during his final season.
We spoke to him about it all, from life, to preparing for the biggest job interview he will ever face.
“I made some mistakes, that could have really hurt me and hurt my career choice. I am not proud of my mistakes, but I face them head on and am proud of who I am now. I could have easily given in and being who my father is, ran to him and asked for help, but I needed to be a man and move on in life. So I did that, and I am so glad I did.
Life comes at you hard sometimes and when you are in a bigger or brighter light, people expect you to be a certain way, or they are waiting for you to mess up. I am so cautious of everything now, I never want to put my team in a bad way. In the locker room, I feel like I am a leader in my own way. I am always there for the team and I do what coach asks of me. It is important to me to be that type of guy, to be that guy for the rest of my life.
Preparing for the Draft, has been different, but I don’t let it get to me. The stress of it all could hurt a man and could make him fall apart, but this is what I want. Coming from such a tiny college to these fans, I want to work harder, I need to work harder than every other person in the Draft. I have the skillset to be successful, but I also know I have a lot to learn, and I am looking forward to doing so.”
Besides having the right mindset, Woodard, has the physical skillset to be a real problem for offenses. Blessed with great speed, quick feet and a knack to always be around the ball, he could find himself doing a multitude of things in the NFL. He has the ability to play inside at the Nickel, on the outside, and can also play at the safety position.
We also sat down and talked to his Father, Case Woodard SR. Discussing his Sons; pending career and how he taught him to deal with the stresses of the lime light.
“Case has always been the type of kid that will get things done. He doesn’t really fall for the hype and growing up in the business, I always made sure he knew how to handle the stress of it all. I would tell him to be himself, don’t do what people expect of him if it is going to be harmful in any way.
He got into a little bit of trouble, nothing too major. What impressed me was he took his punishment like a man. I watch him play, I watch him with friends and I couldn’t be more proud of him, he is really growing to be an amazing man.”
He continued on to tell us what its like seeing him play.
“I am a Father, I am his Father so I am bias, but he can play. He can play all over the field, safety, corner, special teams, even slot receiver. I know he will get a chance and that’s all he needs to succeed because he has the brains, the skillset, and most of all the heart to be a star in this league.
To be someone who will be successful, I know he can do it. I love watching him play…I remember this one game, he took a pick back like 100 yards for a TD. I knew then he could play this game a long time.”
Blessed with the skillset to play all over the field, you could see the obvious fit he has for the Eagles. With his perfect combination, of speed and knowledge of both self, and the game, he could be a steal…and someone who the Eagles could look to as a starter one day.
As far as the issues in the past and overcoming it all to be in this situation to succeed, we asked Case JR, what he would say to a younger him, or to any person whom was struggling with a dream? Most importantly, what he learned from his time at Catawba College?
“You are going to go through things, we all do, it’s life. It isn’t about the moment, it’s about how you react to the moment and how you get up and bounce back.
Mandatory Photo Credit: Wayne Hinshaw: The Salisbury Post