Big guy, little guy
How size has influenced Georgia State’s biggest and smallest football players' lives
Published: Saturday, September 15, 2012
Updated: Saturday, September 15, 2012 16:09
It’s no surprise that Terrance Woodard never got in a fight in his life. Not only because of his pacific personality, but because he is 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 320 pounds. Who would mess with this guy?
The junior noseguard is the biggest player on Georgia State football team’s roster and said that the only time he ever felt small was when he stood next to Georgia State’s basketball team.
“I know how regular people look at me now,” Woodard said with a laugh.
His size has given him the strength necessary to perform well on the field.
“It helps me to be able to handle two people coming on the front end,” Woodard said. “It helps me fight through them and do my job for the defense.”
However, no one gets as big as him out of thin air. He has to work hard in the weight room and eat enough to keep his figure intact.
“I spend a lot of time with coach P (Ben Pollard), he’s a good weight coach and gets us ready to go out there and play every Saturday,” Woodard said.
Also, his meal sizes are far from small.
“I eat pretty big meals,” he said. “You can’t get this size from not eating that much.”
Despite living at Georgia State, he tries to stick to the diet he had back in Ocilla, his hometown.
“I’m a South Georgia country boy so we eat a lot of pig, collard greens and southern cooking,” Woodard said.
Ocilla is a miniscule town located in Irwin County, Ga.
“As far as the city part, it’s two stop lights, a couple of convenience stores and about two restaurants,” Woodard said with a grin. “Everyone knows each other there because we all go to school from kindergarten to high school together.”
When he graduated from Irwin County High School, he defined his graduating class as “pretty big,” although it was only about 100 people.
Woodard said that what he misses the most from his home town is his family, the “small-town living” and the night sky in the country.
He likes Atlanta because of the vast activities available and the diversity, but for him, there’s nothing like being at home with his family.
When it comes to high school ball, “Big T,” as he’s been nicknamed since he was a kid, dominated in his region.
According to Georgia State Athletics, he started three years, earning all-region honors for those three years straight.
Once he got the call from Georgia State and signed with the school’s inaugural team, he started 19 games on the first two seasons, making 36 tackles.
After college, Woodard said that he has NFL aspirations. His main sources of motivation are Jake Muasau and Christo Bilukidi, who were the first Panthers to make it to the NFL.
“I’m proud of both of them because I worked every day and all day with them,” Woodard said.
In case football doesn’t work out for him, the political science major plans to open up his own business as a way “to give something back to the community.”
Although wide receiver Darren McCray’s speed gives him an advantage on the field, it has also come in handy while running for his protection.
“I’ve ran from a few dogs in my time,” McCray said with a grin. “I ran to the nearest car and jumped on the hood.”
McCray is the shortest and lightest player on Georgia State’s football team, as he weighs 150 pounds and is 5 feet 7 inches tall.
This made him subject to many jokes from his teammates during his first days in the team.
“Even the kicker has me by 15-20 pounds, I think, so there are all kinds of jokes,” McCray said.
However, he said that he likes being doubted by rivals for his size because it gives him the opportunity to prove them wrong.
“They think they can overpower me because I’m the smallest guy, but that’s not the case because to play at my size you have to have a lot of heart, which I do have, or else I wouldn’t play,” McCray said.
Besides bravery, McCray’s size requires him to make clever decisions with the ball in his hands.
“I have to play smart. Since I’m not the biggest guy I can’t just use my size to overpower people like other guys do,” McCray said. “I have to use my brain to get around people and find the best way to an open area. I got to use my speed and quickness rather than just size.”
In high school, the speedy redshirt junior was accounted as one of the most dangerous kick returners in the state.
Once at Georgia State, his speed broke school records.
In the 2010 game against Campbell, he made a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, being the only player in the school’s history to do so.