Woodruff putting his best knee forward

Woodruff putting his best knee forward

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Woodruff putting his best knee forward

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The biggest question of the spring won’t be one much longer.

Riverdale quarterback Dillon Woodruff may soon be released for full contact after suffering a torn ACL during the Warriors’ Class 6A quarterfinal win over Oak Ridge last season.

“(Doctors) are still holding him out of contact,” Riverdale coach Ron Aydelott said. “We’re not going to get him hit. In a scrimmage, we may put a grayshirt on him.

“But you know, that’s part of the game. He’s going to eventually get hit.”

Woodruff was injured in a non-contact play when he made a cut on the Tomahawk Stadium turf and injured himself.

The injury put a damper on a strong season to the 6-foot-1, 185-pound senior’s second year as the Warriors’ starting quarterback. Woodruff, who was named the District 7-AAA Offensive MVP in 2011, threw for 1,524 yards with 13 TDs and rushed for 826 yards with 16 TDs.

“I knew it wasn’t going to be easy to come back when I had the injury,” Woodruff said. “The team depends on me, and I don’t want to let him down.”

That helped drive him during the winter months after surgery. He worked out daily and pushed himself. He’s been ahead of schedule virtually from the day of the surgery.

Woodruff, who attended a camp at Georgia Tech on Saturday and was at a camp at MTSU on Friday, was forced to sit out most of spring practice. He could throw and did plenty of that with his teammates. But he was forced to sit out of the Warriors’ scrimmage as well as team offensive drills.

“I did most of the stuff,” Woodruff said. “But there was some stuff that I couldn’t do, like cutting on it. I got some work, and it allowed the younger guys to get work in.”

Forced to the sideline for the first time since he took over as the starting quarterback, Woodruff saw things from a different vantage point. It helped fuel his desire to get back on the field.

“I’m ready to get back out there,” Woodruff said. “I didn’t get to finish like I wanted to. I want to go out there this year and do something different.”

He often arranges a passing workout after the team’s weight lifting and conditioning. Coaches aren’t allowed to be part of any of the passing workouts due to TSSAA rules. But players can do things on their own.

Aydelott said he noticed in the spring that Woodruff had improved his throwing. That is in part due to Woodruff’s private workouts with former MTSU and NFL quarterback Kelly Holcomb.

“He’s throwing a ton better,” Aydelott said. “I’ve been impressed with his footwork. Kelly Holcomb has helped with that, along with Dillon’s ability to be coached.”

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