Robert Woods fine with attention Lee is getting
LOS ANGELES ----Last season Robert Woods broke Keyshawn Johnson's school and conference record with 111 receptions in a season.
"It just happened," Woods said. "Me and Matt (Barkley) just had a good year."
Barkley and Woods are in the midst of their best week collectively of fall camp.
At the beginning of camp, their timing was off and they looked nothing like the duo that led to Woods breaking Johnson's record. Woods didn't practice at all in the spring and missed most of summer throwing workouts because of ankle surgery he had last December.
Woods claims to be back to full strength and he and Barkley now appear to be back on the same page.
Despite setting the conference record for receptions in 2011, Woods says he wants to make "more plays than I did last year," and is quick to point out what he didn't do last season.
"I had a big drop against Stanford," he said. "I had some missed opportunities (in the) Cal game (and) Washington game. Those are the type of plays I need to make."
With that in mind, Woods will enter the season focused, determined, and opposite the player people are now calling the best wide receiver in college football ---Marqise Lee.
The attention Lee has received this offseason has superseded that of Woods. You can make the argument it was spearheaded by Kiffin, who at the end of last year proclaimed Lee and not Woods could go down as the greatest wide receiver in USC history.
"I know it sounds pretty strong but I think he was kinda dominating college football at the end of the year," said Kiffin of Lee. "You look at what he did against UCLA, he just dominated the game. It was like a man playing amongst boys in that game. You could barely touch him."
Woods is aware of all the attention his friend and teammate is receiving and he's glad about it.
"I like it," Woods said. "It's definitely going to make it easier for me."
You could argue it was the other way around last season. With so much attention centered around Woods, opportunities to make plays became available for Lee.
In 2012, it could be the other way around. Regardless, it will be a headache for opposing defenses. As Kiffin contends, the opposition can't forget about Woods.
"Anytime you set the conference record in the history of the conference for catches and they took away two games from you, that wasn't his fault, he would've probably shattered the record so I don't think he's very forgotten," Kiffin said.