By: Courtney Ott, Deputy Sports Editor
At 19 years old, six-foot and 220-pounds, freshman linebacker Mason Woods is already creating an impressive resume in five starts for the Towson University Football team.
In Woods’ first game for the Tigers against Bucknell University, he collected six tackles. Next, against Morgan State University, he accumulated six tackles, one sack, one interception and a pass breakup.
He collected nine tackles in his recent games against West Virginia University and the University of New Hampshire, and ten tackles against the University of Delaware in the team’s most recent game.
Woods’ football career began at Gar-Field High School in his hometown of Woodbridge, Va. He received the All-Cardinal District Defensive Player of the Year in 2019. In 2021 he helped lead the team to a Cardinal District title and an undefeated season.
After committing to Towson, Woods redshirted his first year. He used the extra time to develop and adapt to the game of college football.
“It developed me a lot,” Woods said. “I had a hard time adjusting because I went from having a bunch of reps and having a name in high school to just being another player, so it was hard at first. But once I adapted and took on my role as a scout player, I took it seriously.”
Woods was named the Scout Defensive Player of the year, the Baltimore Sun reported.
While the decision allowed him to develop, Woods faced hardships during his redshirt year. He said that not having a role on Saturdays made it hard for him, especially since he practiced Monday through Friday but did not compete with most of the team on Saturdays.
“He’s selfless, and he definitely puts the team in front of him,” said linebacker Ryan Kearney. “It doesn’t matter how he is feeling. He always wants his teammates to succeed.”
Along with Woods’ teammates, Head Coach Rob Ambrose has noticed his strong start.
“He takes a great pounding and gives one, too,” said Ambrose. “While he has great athletic ability, I can see sparks of leadership in him. He’s really smart, passionate, strong and loves football. He was one of those kids while he redshirted […] he kept watching like he couldn’t wait for his turn.”
Ambrose said he believes that Woods’ experience before Towson has played a part in his success thus far. Although Woods has played well so far this season, he said there’s room for growth over the next four years.
“He has a high ceiling, but it depends. Freshmen read press clippings…and think that they have made it and therefore their growth level diminishes. As long as he keeps the same perspective that he has now and stays humble, hungry and keeps working, the sky is the limit.”
While the season is still early, Woods said the team still has some work to do. However, he has high hopes for the end of the season.
“I feel like we have the guys to do it, and at this point, it’s all about putting the pieces together. We have a lot of talent, not only on defense but on offense, we just have to build that relationship and get stronger,” Woods said.
As the youngest starter on defense, Woods said he hopes to continue to make an impact for Towson football.
“I knew I would be fine because I’ve been playing football my whole life,” Woods said. “I started playing football when I was four. To me, I feel like everything is natural, and it helps to have good players around. It’s not just me out there […] if I take my shot and miss, someone right behind me is going to make the play.”
Woods and the Tigers travel to Elon University on Saturday, Oct. 8, at 2 p.m.