UNT recruiting target series — Clayton Woods

Highland Park center Clayton Woods, left, is from a football family that includes (from left), his father and Scotts assistant coach Don Woods, brother and former Oklahoma lineman Austin Woods and mother Liz Woods. UNT is recruiting Clayton Woods as a center. (The Dallas Morning News)

Highland Park offensive lineman Clayton Woods and his family have a unique perspective when it comes to the recruiting process.

After all, this is far from their first go-around.

Clayton Woods’ older brother is Austin Woods, a standout at Rockwall-Heath who battled cancer and recently finished his college career with the Oklahoma Sooners. His father, Don Woods, is a longtime high school coach who is currently the defensive line coach at Highland Park.

That background gives Woods an idea of what he is looking for in a college program.

The 6-foot-3, 280-pound center likes what he has seen at UNT, where he watched the Mean Green practice twice this spring.

“I came to the second padded practice and went to a Saturday scrimmage before the spring game,” Woods said. “I liked what I saw. They got after it. The offensive line really gets into it with the defense line during drills. I like the circle drill. North Texas is definitely a program on the rise.”

UNT defensive line coach Kevin Patrick is recruiting Woods, who started at center throughout his junior season and caught the attention of multiple programs in the state. Both UNT and UTSA have offered Woods a scholarship.

UNT is recruiting Woods as a center. Kaydon Kirby, the Mean Green’s starting center, will be a sophomore this fall and a junior by the time Woods would be in his first season — and a potential redshirt year — in college.

While Woods is being recruited by Patrick, he has also talked with Mike Simmonds. UNT’s offensive line coach has emphasized to Woods that he tries to get his five best players on the field, no matter where they normally line up.

Woods has gotten to know Patrick and formed a bond with the assistant in charge of recruiting him.

“I spent quite a bit of time with coach Patrick,” Woods said. “I like him and the staff in general. They get after it.”

Woods was a first-team All-District 10-4A selection as a junior last season. He has no set plan in terms of when he will decide where he will continue his career. After watching his brother go through the process, he is content to let his recruitment play out and see what his options are.

“I watched my brother go through it,” Woods said. “I will know when the time comes.”

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