Charles Woods became an impact player in his first year with West Virginia last season.
The Illinois State transfer collected 31 total tackles, recorded a pair of tackles for loss, and was responsible for four turnovers. He intercepted a pair of passes, and also recovered two fumbles.
His ability to create turnovers came to light in the same two games.
Woods picked off a pass, returned it 32 yards, and then recovered a fumble in the fourth quarter of West Virginia’s 29-17 road win over TCU. The performance earned Woods Big 12 Newcomer of the Week honors.
“Our coaches preach all the time that you never know when your opportunities are going to come,” Woods said afterward. “Stay ready all the time, and when your name is called, make a play.”
Woods forced two more turnovers in the Guaranteed Rate Bowl.
Following the regular season’s end, Woods was one of 10 Mountaineers named to the Pro Football Focus All-Big 12 team.
The love from Pro Football Focus didn’t stop there.
According to Pro Football Focus College, Woods allowed the lowest passer rating while in coverage among any Big 12 corner last season.
Not only that, but Woods set the Big 12 record for the lowest passer rating allowed in coverage by any corner in the conference’s history. His 22.1 passer rating allowed was significantly better than the previous record, which was held by former Baylor corner Xavien Howard.
Howard is a three-time Pro Bowl defensive back in the NFL.
Woods excels in coverage. He hauled in an attention-grabbing interception on the first day of spring practice in March.
PFF College also gave the WVU corner the highest grade (90.3) of any player in the country in his position last year.
Woods, who was not named to any of the all-conference teams by the league in 2021, is a preseason Third Team All-Conference selection by Athlon Sports.