Earlier this week, 2024 Bellflower (Calif.) St. John Bosco safety Peyton Woodyard placed Oregon in his top seven schools.
He has also set a commitment date for January 7.
Woodyard is rated a four-star (0.9819) prospect on the 247Sports composite. The same system ranks him the No. 29 player nationally, the No. 2 safety and the No. 2 player in the state of California.
Ducks Digest caught up with Woodyard in a recent interview for some details in his recruitment.
He's taken trips to Oregon, Georgia, Ohio State, and USC this season.
Georgia was one school to host him recently and he spoke about the trip.
"Me and my family had a great time," he said. "They really rolled out the red carpet and they treated us really good over there. I really like what Georgia has going on over there and I could definitely see myself there."
What exactly does rolling out the red carpet entail?
"Just spending a lot of time with Coach Fran (Brown). He's the one I have the best relationship with there. Also chopped it up with Coach Muschamp and Coach Kirby (Smart). Just being able to have a good relationship with those people is just awesome. They're all DB dudes and just being able to spend time with them means a lot."
Georgia's defense hasn't missed a beat despite losing a ton of talent to the NFL and defensive back Kelee Ringo (Sagauro '20) has been a huge success in Athens.
"The defense is crazy. Crazy good," Woodyard said. "When you see a West Coast dude go out there they usually go out there and do pretty well. So I really like that about Georgia and I'm excited to just keep watching."
The schools he's hearing from the most line up almost perfectly with his top schools.
Oregon Football Recruiting Visitor List: Jan. 27-29
The Ducks host one more recruiting weekend before the February dead period.
Where 2023 Oregon Football Commits Stand in Final 247Sports Rankings
The Ducks have the top class in the Pac-12 ahead of the February signing day.
"Ohio State, Georgia, Oregon, USC, Michigan, those are just some of the main schools. I've been talking to Florida a lot. I'm gonna go out there in December."
Florida has had an up and down year in Billy Napier's first season, but that hasn't hurt their chances with the elite defensive back.
"I really like the coach there and they love me," he said. "I can't wait to get out there with the family and just see how I like it. It's very similar to Bosco with the defense there, so I think I fit in very well over there. I'm excited to go over there and see what they have to offer."
Oregon has made a habit of of recruiting Bosco's best, including edge rusher Matayo Uiagalelei in 2023. Woodyard had a lot of praise for the Ducks in Dan Lanning's debut as a head coach.
"It's the first year with a new coaching staff. They have the best coaching around. Same thing with them as with Florida--they come from that same defensive tree as Bosco. So it's kinda cool to see I can go in there and I would know most of the stuff and just like a little bit of the verbiage I would need to learn.
"I feel like that's really appealing with Oregon. I have a great relationship with the coaching staff there, Coach (Matt) Powledge, Lanning, Coach (Tosh) Lupoi and also Coach (Rashad) Wadood being there now. It feels like family up there and it definitely feels very comfortable."
I've had the chance to see Woodyard in person multiple times this season and he's been every bit as good as advertised. He came up with some big pass breakups in Bosco's 24-22 win over Mater Dei last week to secure the CIF Southern Section division 1 title and he also brings good ball skills.
This one's been a bit hard to get a good read on because he's said a lot of good things about multiple schools. If you asked me I'd say Georgia feels like the school to watch right now, but you certainly can't count out Ohio State, USC in his backyard (playoff berth pending) and some of the connections he has to the Oregon staff and roster.
We'll have to keep a close eye on the visits between now and his commitment.
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