COLLEGE PARK -- Early in the season, Maryland freshman cornerback Josh Woods practiced with the scout team and was not even in pads on game days.
Now, Woods (McDonogh) is one injury away from being depended on to play a significant role in the Terps' secondary.
Woods became Maryland's fifth cornerback in late September when starting cornerback Alvin Hill was lost for the season to a knee injury. Fellow freshman Daniel Ezeagwu is now out for the season, so Woods has moved to the No. 4 spot on the depth chart behind starters Will Likely and Jeremiah Johnson and nickel back Jarrett Ross.
"The confidence level in Josh Woods is very high," Terps coach Randy Edsall said. "He's the next guy up. That's just the way it is. Injuries happen in this game. Josh came here to be a player and wants to be a player and is working very, very hard. So if he's got to go into the ballgame or if he's got to play, then I'm very confident that he'll go in and give us his best effort and he'll play well."
Woods, 6 feet 1, 190 pounds, had four interceptions as a senior at McDonogh last year. He also had 35 catches for 800 yards and 10 touchdowns as a wide receiver to help the Eagles finish 11-0 and win the first MIAA A Conference outright championship in program history.
"He's quick," Maryland inside linebacker L.A. Goree said of Woods. "He's a tall, lanky kid. He covers a lot of ground. That's one thing I've noticed about him. Even vertically, he jumps high. He's got a long reach. So I think naturally he covers a lot of space and gets a lot of things done instinctively ... so my confidence would be pretty high in Josh Woods."