Rookie Spotlight: Roland Woods
Roland who? Lost in the (well deserved) hype of an outstanding, dual threat Quarterback (DeAndre Wilkins Jr. QB #11- Orlando Sentinels) and a rare, franchise Running Back (Kenny Steele RB #34- Brooklyn Barons), Shamrocks' Wide Receiver Roland Woods is often the forgotten man in the dynamic Sun Devils' offense. With the size and speed to play in the slot, on the outside, and out of the backfield, Woods became a valuable weapon for his quarterback early in his freshman year. Coupled with his open field elusiveness, Woods was able to amass close to 10,000 all purpose yards(rec, rush, pr, kr) over his 4 year college career.
With a confidence that borders arrogance, Roland has always had a "presence" about him. "He says what he thinks. He says what he doesn't think (laughs), but he makes you think and he's always thinking about you. He REALLY believes in himself, but he believes in his teammates even more." -Paul Lasano, WR Coach, ASU At the ASU pro day, Woods had an outstanding showing. He ran an unofficial 4.33 40 yard dash, did 16 reps of 225 and didn't drop a pass in the WR drills. However, he was just a side show to the real stars of the day. Rumors began to circulate that Woods was just a "product of the system" and benefitted highly from defensive coordinators scheming to stop combination of Wilkins Jr and Steele. Reports continued to emerge leading into the draft and Woods' stock dropped dramatically.
He wasn't even the first receiver selected by his team.(#82 Levi Marts) "He's been mad ever since! (Laughs) But its a good mad. He's motivated. He wants to be a star, but he wants his play to propel him there so he doesn't talk about it. Plus he loves those guys. They're like brothers." -Marty Michaels, Trainer. Woods would be slotted to start for the Shamrocks as soon as his name flashed on the draft board in the 3rd round of the RFL draft. The only question would be where? Especially after selecting #89 Nicholas Andrews later in the round. "I don't look at it by number. I just play the role Coach Forsey has for me in the offense. We're all #1's if you sleep on us” -Roland Woods.
As we pass the halfway point of the season, Roland Woods and the new look Dublin Shamrocks sit at 6-3 and among the contenders for a playoff spot, which would be the first in Shamrocks' history. While battling in a tough defensive NFC North division, Woods is still on pace for over 1000 receiving yards as a rookie, accounting for 548 yards and 4 touchdowns. " There's a change happening around here. The coaching staff came in with a plan and felt like I could be a piece to the puzzle. I'm dedicated to the Dublin Shamrocks because they believed in me. I'm muscleshamrock #Dubgang for life!" -Roland Woods
Written By: Robert Xavier