On the morning of the 2017 Spring Game, we got some bad news from Kelly Quinlan of JacketsOnline.com:
R-Fr DE Jordan Woods has left the #GaTech FB team. Opportunities abound for young SDEs like Alston and Dawson now. https://t.co/h8m3t1wl33 pic.twitter.com/1qDrRVQdgk— Kelly Quinlan (@Kelly_Quinlan) April 21, 2017
After becoming the first Rivals four-star recruit to sign with Georgia Tech in multiple years when he joined the 2016 recruiting class, Woods suffered a season-ending injury in fall camp. Though he attained a high recruiting ranking with his physical prowess in high school, reports out of practices were that Woods was struggling to crack the rotation for playing time as a pass-rusher. With upperclassmen KeShun Freeman, Antonio Simmons, and Anree Saint-Amour set to return as the team’s primary defensive ends this season, Woods was unlikely to see a significant amount of time on the field in 2017, although the graduation of Freeman and Simmons will open up a starting spot for 2018 that Woods may have been in the mix for.
Following the departure of Woods, the #4 DE spot will be a battle between junior Tyler Merriweather and incoming freshmen Cortez Alston and Kelton Dawson. With a larger frame and more experience, Merriweather is likely to provide run support at the very least, and may fill out the rotation on his own. However, it should be noted how depleted the Yellow Jackets’ depth is quickly becoming on the defensive line, where they complete spring practice with only 12 scholarship players — 6 each at defensive end and defensive tackle. Without much depth to lean on, just one or two injuries to that group this fall could make a major impact on the defensive success as a whole.
Woods now becomes the tenth player to leave the Georgia Tech team since the end of the 2016 regular season.