ORLANDO — Growing up a college coach's son gave Raymond Woodie III some perspective on the uncertainties of what can be a vagabond profession.
During his high school career Woodie attended Carrollwood Day, Wiregrass Ranch, Sheldon (Ore.), and Florida in Tallahassee. The constant moving was a result of following his father, Raymond, on stops at USF, Oregon and Florida State as part of Willie Taggart's defensive staffs.
After tagging along with his dad for years, Woodie now will be playing for him.
In December, the four-star athlete signed with FSU. He will play safety, joining a defense where the elder Woodie is the linebackers coach.
Days filled with practices, meetings and chasing footballs as his father's shadow paid off for Woodie during Thursday's Under Armour All-America Game.
Playing for Team Ballaholics, Woodie made an impact on defense, finishing with three tackles (two solo) and intercepting a pass in the third quarter.
"It was a great feeling, crazy honestly," Woodie III said of his interception in the nationally televised game.
Woodie has a knack for reading quarterbacks because he used to be one.
He first got the attention of colleges as a dual-threat quarterback at Carrollwood Day as a freshman and sophomore. Woodie had offers from Michigan and UCF among others at the position.
In the past two years Woodie switched positions as well as schools.
Now, he has found some stability as a defensive back, and a permanent home in Tallahassee.
"I'm excited to start my next chapter at FSU," he said.
A good start
Former Largo High standout Jaquaze Sorrells, who transferred to Winter Park in the summer, not only fulfilled his dream of playing in the All-America Game, but he ended up starting for Team Ballaholics.
Sorrells, playing defensive tackle, finished with two tackles.
His other goals in high school were to be included in ESPN's list of the top 300 seniors in the 2019 class and participate in Nike's The Opening, an invitation-only elite camp for seniors.
Sorrells accomplished both, but the biggest one to check off his list was playing in the Under Armour game.
Up next: deciding where to play in college. Sorrells, whose short list includes Alabama, Penn State and South Carolina, has said he will announce in February where he is going.
A pair of electrifying skill players were named most valuable players of their respective teams.
Jerrion Ealy, a four-star recruit from Jackson Prep (Miss.), ran for a game-record 119 yards and scored twice for Team Flash. Ealy has already committed to Mississippi.
Marcus Washington, a four-star receiver from Trinity Catholic High (Mo.), had seven catches for 89 yards and two touchdowns to lead Team Ballaholics to a 28-27 victory. Washington has already signed with Texas. Deion Sanders coach Ballaholics, and Steve Mariucci coached Flash.
Because of the early signing period in December, the bulk of the players participating in the game had already announced their college destinations.
In fact, there were just 10 players who were undecided heading into the week.
Three of them made their commitments during the game, all impacting state schools or coaches with area ties.
The first to announce was Shammond Cooper, a four-star linebacker from Trinity Catholic High (Mo.), who picked Illinois over offers from FSU, Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. It was a big pickup for Illini (and former Bucs) coach Lovie Smith.
Tre'mon Morris-Brash, a three-star defensive lineman from St. John's College (Washington, D.C.), committed to UCF, an announcement that drew plenty of cheers from fans at Camping World Stadium. He chose the Knights over Arizona, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Wake Forest
But the biggest surprise came when Arjel Henderson, a four-star receiver from Fort Bend High (Texas), picked Florida, spurning FSU, Georgia, Penn State and Tennessee. Many recruiting experts predicted Henderson would become a Seminole.
The kicking king
One of LSU's biggest tasks this offseason is finding a replacement for K Cole Tracey, who set an Division I-A single-season record with 29 field goals.
But the Tigers appeared to have filled that void with Cade York, a Prosper High (Texas) recruit who signed in December.
York showed off his strong leg during the All-America Game, hitting two field goals, the last a 59-yarder to set the record for the longest in the game's 12-year history.
After the ball cleared the uprights, York celebrated by sprinting to the end zone, sitting on a throne and wearing a crown while being mobbed by teammates.