Monday, Oct 22, 2018
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Former UT star Woodside ready for first NFL minicamp

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With his first minicamp with the Cincinnati Bengals beginning on Friday, former University of Toledo star Logan Woodside wakes up with a similar thought each morning: I’m now an NFL quarterback.

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Logan Woodside is ready for rookie minicamp after being drafted by the Cincinnati Bengals.

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That realization serves as a guide for Woodside as he goes through workouts, as he pores over a new playbook, and as he sets expectations for himself in his first pro season.

“I think it’s sunk in a little bit,” Woodside said. “I have to get up every day and know that the decisions I make on a daily basis are different than others that aren’t in my position. I’m excited and I’ve been preparing for this for a long time, so I think I have a pretty good idea and I have some people around me that are going to make me be successful and make it happen.”

The NFL Draft was a fairly agonizing process for Woodside as he saw his name slip after some projected him to go as early as the fourth round. Forced to wait until the final round, Woodside finally heard his name called with the 31st pick of the seventh round (249th overall) by the Bengals.

“I think the draft was something I didn’t have any control of, but ultimately I ended up in the right place,” Woodside said. “I felt good about where I’m at and I’m just grateful and thankful for the opportunity to be a Bengal. I’m excited to get up there and go to work.”

Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said after the draft that he and the Bengals considered moving up to make sure they got Woodside, who started the past two seasons for UT and set the school record for career touchdown passes with 93.

Ultimately, however, the Bengals got their guy without having to move up to do so.

“With the drafting of Logan Woodside, we really feel he’s a good young prospect,” Lewis said after the draft. “He has an opportunity to come in here and compete as one of the backups. We feel like he’s got a lot of upside in his ability to play quarterback. We’re excited to be able to add him to the football team.”

Woodside said he is looking forward to working with Bengals quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt, who has worked with Aaron Rodgers in Green Bay, as well as offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.

“With Logan Woodside, he’s been a very productive player in college,” Lazor said following the draft. “I had a chance to get to know him a little bit. Actually, when we went up to watch his pro day, Bruce Gradkowski, an old Bengal, was there with him. I think Logan’s broken some of Bruce’s records. He’s been a very productive player and he’s played in an all-star game and did well, so we’re really excited about him.”

With Andy Dalton locked in as the Bengals starting quarterback, Woodside will compete with Matt Barkley and Jeff Driskel for the top backup job.

“I think that it’s my fault if I don’t go in there and try to learn as much as I can from [Dalton] because he has been really successful,” Woodside said. “We are very similar players and that’s one of the reasons they drafted me, because they think I can do some of the things that he can. It’s a great opportunity for me.”

For now Woodside is immersed in the playbook, which he says is similar to the playbook he learned when he played in the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl in January. He is focused on proving what he can do in front of the Bengals coaching staff and players beginning on Friday when rookie minicamp opens.

“I wrote down a list of goals I want to accomplish,” Woodside said. “I’ve contacted a lot of those guys that are rookies and I know a lot of those guys already. I think I just need to do what I’m supposed to do and not try to do too much. I just need to make plays and be excited and be energetic and try to lead the offense and be the best football player I can be.”

Contact Brian Buckey at bbuckey@theblade.com419-724-6110, or on Twitter @BrianBuckey.

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