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Gateway quarterback picks Arizona

| Sunday, June 17, 2012, 11:06 p.m.

Thomas Woodson relished the opportunity to run the same offense in college that he does at Gateway, so the dual-threat quarterback did what he does best: read the situation and decided where to run.

In this case, it's all the way to Arizona.

Woodson made a verbal commitment to Arizona Sunday night, choosing the Wildcats over a scholarship offer from Bowling Green. Ohio, Purdue and Toledo were showing interest in the 6-foot-1, 215-pounder.

“They were the first team to give me a chance,” Woodson said of Rich Rodriguez and his staff, primarily recruiter Tony Gibson. “I thought, Why not pull the trigger on a coaching staff that has followed me since I started playing varsity ball? It was just the feeling I have about Arizona and the coaching staff.”

Woodson passed for 1,177 yards and 11 touchdowns and rushed for 160 yards and two scores on 43 carries last season. His top performance came against Latrobe, when he passed for 334 yards. As a sophomore, Woodson passed for 1,362 yards and ran for 468 yards out of a read-option offense.

“Their offense is the same I run in high school. It'll be great,” Woodson said. “Our offense is run exactly like theirs, with the quarterback reading the defensive end. It'll be great to do at the college level what I've been doing for three years now.”

Woodson becomes the third WPIAL star to pick Arizona, which has a staff with a heavy Western Pennsylvania influence. Chartiers Valley wide receiver Wayne Capers and Upper St. Clair linebacker Dakota Conwell signed with Arizona in February.

“It's nice knowing those guys,” said Woodson, who played with them on the Western PA Swag seven-on-seven team last summer. “They're great people and great athletes, so it will be nice to have them there when I get there.”

Kevin Gorman can be reached at kgorman@tribweb.com.

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