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Washington State’s Jahad Woods savors meeting with former USC RB, fellow Helix alum Reggie Bush

LOS ANGELES – Jahad Woods unexpectedly met one of his childhood idols, and a fellow Helix (San Diego) High School alum, Tuesday in Los Angeles, one day before the Washington State linebacker, offensive lineman Liam Ryan and coach Mike Leach represented the Cougars at Pac-12 Media Day.

It was at a Los Angeles location of the popular Cabo Wabo restaurant chain, where Woods stumbled into former USC running back Reggie Bush. The former USC running back is teaming up with former Trojans teammate Matt Leinart, Brady Quinn, Urban Meyer and Rob Stone this fall on a new college football pregame show that’s set to air on Fox and compete with ESPN’s “College GameDay.”

Woods was stunned to see Bush show up to a gathering of Pac-12 players, coaches and media personalities Tuesday, describing the chance encounter as “my first time being starstruck.”

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“Incredible. Incredible. I’ve seen him before, but I haven’t really talked to him,” Woods said.

“His impact on not only the game of football, but the kids like myself growing up. Growing up, seeing him play, he’s impacted the game in a tremendous way.”

Bush was considered the top running back prospect in the country when he left Helix after rushing for 4,000 career yards and 50 touchdowns with the Highlanders.

Woods followed Bush’s career from afar and nearly a decade later carved out impressive numbers at Helix, located in the La Mesa suburb of San Diego. Woods was rated the No. 10 inside linebacker in California as a senior and compiled 58 tackles, 5 1/2 sacks and two interceptions before signing a letter of intent with the Cougars.

Woods has amassed more than 140 tackles in two seasons at WSU. His best moment with the Cougars came in 2017 against Bush’s old school, when the linebacker came up with a game-clinching strip sack of USC quarterback Sam Darnold that allowed WSU to pull off a 30-27 upset win.

Woods refrained from bringing that subject up when he got some face time with Bush on Tuesday.

“I wish I would’ve taken a picture with him. I didn’t want to bother him too much. I was definitely starstruck,” he said. “I was nervous, I didn’t really know what to say to him. It’s just someone I’ve always looked up to, even though he’s at the running back position. He’s a great dude.”