Golden Gate's J.D. Woods signs with Pittsburgh Steelers

West Virginia University wide receiver J.D. Woods, a Golden Gate High graduate, splits University of South Florida defenders.

Courtesy West Virginia sports information

West Virginia University wide receiver J.D. Woods, a Golden Gate High graduate, splits University of South Florida defenders.

Former Golden Gate High receiver J.D. Woods became the first Titans player to make it to the NFL.

The Pittsburgh Steelers announced Saturday night on the team’s website that it had “added nine draft picks as well as agreeing to terms with 15 rookie free agents following the 2013 NFL Draft.”

Woods, a wideout for West Virginia, is one of the free agent signees. Last season for the Mountaineers, Woods caught 61 passes and four touchdowns for 637 yards from New York Jets-draftee Geno Smith.

Woods, a 6-foot-1, 190-pounder, tweeted “It’s OFFICIAL. I’m a PITTSBURGH STEELER!”

“It’s cool for everybody,” said Golden Gate athletic director Pete Seitz, who served as Woods’ position coach during his years as a Titan from 2005-2007. “The impact it has on our students. For them to meet him and put a real face and a real name to someone who is now an NFL player and was only concerned about their education.”

In his senior season at Golden Gate High School, Woods had 54 catches for 851 yards and eight touchdowns, and was an all-state selection.

“He was so talented,” said Dave Tanner, Woods’ coach at Golden Gate High. “I’m so excited for him. He worked hard in college and now he’s being rewarded.”

As for the Titans football program itself, current Golden Gate coach, Mike DiGrigoli, understood the meaning of Woods’ accomplishment.

“It’s unbelievable for the program,” DiGrigoli said. “It now sets the bar for Golden Gate players.”

Woods visited Golden Gate high last week and took time to address student-athletes about the importance of education.

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