Austin Woods hopes to carry on tradition of top-notch OU centers

BY JAKE TROTTER, Staff Writer, jtrotter@opubco.com Published: February 3, 2010

Of all the positions Oklahoma has recruited well in recent years, the Sooners have not done better than they have at center.

In 2005, OU reeled in Jon Cooper, the No. 6 center nationally.

In 2007, the Sooners signed Jason Hannan, the No. 1 center.

And in 2008, they snagged Ben Habern, the country's third-ranked center.

This recruiting class, OU has continued that tradition of bringing in high-profile centers in 4-star prospect Austin Woods, who is rated the No. 5 player at the position nationally by Rivals.com.

"I think Austin is a tremendous player," said Jeremy Crabtree, national recruiting editor for Rivals.com. "I love his body shape, he has good build, long, long arms. And he still looks like he can add good weight."

"He went to Oklahoma's camp, and earned a scholarship offer right then from his performance at the camp. He's proven he does well in competitive situations."

Like with Cooper and Habern, the Sooners may need the 6-foot-5, 290-pound Rockwall, Texas, native to contribute as a true freshman.

The center position could be a question mark heading into next season, with Habern trying to recover from surgery that repaired a broken fibula.