Woody Barrett knew what he needed to do over the summer before his senior season at West Orange High in Winter Garden, Fla.
Sure, he was among the top dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation and highly coveted at the next level. Yes, he threw for 1,558 yards and 24 touchdowns as a junior while running for 813 yards and nine touchdowns. But, the dynamic quarterback had to become a more refined passer to go with his running ability.
“I feel like all the work I’ve put in, it’s finally coming to show I can also just stay in the pocket, make great decisions and put the ball where I need to be,” he said. “That’s all was working on over the summer.
“I’m pretty impressed with myself so far. More to come. I’m just going to keep pushing.”
Barrett has impressed plenty and will get another opportunity at the Under Armour All-America Game in January in Orlando. Barrett received his honorary jersey when the Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance came to his school Thursday.
“I’ve been wanting to play in the Under Armour All-America Game since I was way, way young,” he said. “I’m ready to compete and be around a lot of great athletes and a lot of future stars.”
Despite being from Florida, Barrett’s college choices came down to Auburn or Alabama and he picked the Tigers. He seems like a great fit for Gus Malzahn’s spread offense, although Barrett shrugged off any comparisons to former Auburn QB Nick Marshall.
“I don’t want to be Nick Marshall. I want to be Woody B,” he said. “I am my own dude. That’s that. I don’t want to be anybody else. That’s how I look at it. I want to compare myself to myself.
“There are some things Nick Marshall can do that I can’t do and some things I can do that Nick Marshall can’t. There are different areas of the football game. Our styles are different.”
Barrett has not made his official visit to The Plains but is keeping close watch on what has been a disappointing season for the Tigers, who are 4-3 and 1-3 in the Southeastern Conference.
“Every school has ups and downs,” he said. “Obviously, Auburn is still playing decent football, just not at the standard they want to be. Everything’s all good. I’m still riding for Auburn. There is time for everything and every team has a down period. I’m ready.”
Before he gets to Auburn or the UA game, Barrett is hoping to lead 7-1 West Orange to consecutive district titles and a bid for states.
“I feel like the future and our dynasty is on our hands,” he said. “Every day is a compete day. Everybody moves all the time at practice. Nobody is standing still. It’s basically like a college level football environment. I put in the mindset that you want to work on your craft and no days off. That keeps me motivated and driving.”