BC Lions linebacker Josh Woods is a SoCal native. Growing up in the Los Angeles area, Josh’s childhood was a melting pot of different cultures around the world. The linebacker out of UCLA found a role with the Lions in 2022, where he showed his productivity on the special teams and defence.
While suiting up for almost an entire season, Josh registered 23 defensive tackles, 12 special teams tackles and two sacks in his 2022 campaign. With this offseason coming to an end, Josh wants to share his diverse family heritage and a few people who had a significant impact on his life. Here are 5 Things to know about the former UCLA Bruin.
1. Josh is a proud Asian American
Josh’s grandmother was born in China, then migrated to Taiwan when she was young. Being part Asian, Josh has a sense of responsibility to build awareness of getting more Asian youths to be involved with football. Josh looked up to athletes like Tiger Woods growing up, but there’s only a handful of Asian football players in the NFL— even to this day. As a mixed-race athlete of black, white and Asian, Josh is proud of his family roots and is hopeful more Asian football players can make an impact in the game.
“Being black, white and Chinese was always a cool thing to me. I’m mixed with so many things but I had pride in all of them. A lot of people would never know unless I say it. I have the pride actually to share it. I’m not one of those people who hides it. There are not many of us out there. I know there’s Camryn Bynum for the Minnesota Vikings. He’s open about being Filipino and black. Taylor Rapp is half Chinese who’s playing for the Bills.”
2. Kobe Bryant is his inspiration
The face of Los Angeles sports for more than two decades has impacted so many lives — Josh was one of them. He recalled after church every Sunday, it was a family tradition for the entire household to watch the Lakers play.
For Josh, there are athletes like Michael Vick, Reggie Bush, Eddie George and Marshall Faulk who he looked up to. But Kobe was above them all because of how he approached the game of basketball during his career.
“Kobe was everything. My dad was really influential in my life with sports but Kobe was like the uncle that didn’t know me. I live the mamba mentality, just the way he approached life, the way he approached the game. I always try to hone in on that and be the best I can be,” he said.
3. Josh interned for the CBS S.W.A.T. series
During Josh’s fifth year at UCLA, he enrolled in film lectures as a minor in film, television, and digital media studies. Since then, Josh started to view shows and movies from a different perspective. He also had a chance to intern for a CBS show named S.W.A.T., starring Shemar Moore. Being in the same room as the writers, producers and executives, Josh learned how the film industry operates on and behind the film set.
At the moment, Josh has been catching up on all the hottest shows on HBO Max like House of Dragons, Bel-Air and shows starring Issa Rae.
4. Josh is a co-host of the UCLA football podcast on BLEAV
A few of Josh’s biggest games with the Bruins were the 2017 shootout against Texas A&M including the contest where UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen threw four touchdowns in the 4th quarter and helped the Bruins score 28 unanswered points against the Aggies during the final stretch of the game. Another thriller Josh and the Bruins played in was the Washington State matchup in 2019. The Bruins were down 49-17 in the third quarter, UCLA climbed back from a 32-point deficit to beat the Cougars (67-63) in a classic Pac-12 fashion.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 4, 2017
Throughout Josh’s time at UCLA, he built a solid relationship with the local media covering UCLA football. Josh faced the microphone during interviews and conferences when he was a student-athlete, he wasn’t afraid of talking football in front of the camera. The UCLA football alum was contacted by James H. Williams, and they started the UCLA football podcast on the BLEAV network.
“It keeps me involved in the UCLA community and keeps me up to date. Majority of the guys I played with and the coaches I’ve played for us to be involved in the school community,” he said.
5. Josh’s gameday fits are on point
Along with his Lions teammates, Josh plans his gameday outfit and shops for the most popular style that suits him. Josh has an eye for vintage graphic t-shirts and hoodies that he sometimes finds at a thrift store. Despite his teammate Lucky Whitehead stealing all the attention with his pre-game entrances, the other players still obtain the look good, play good mentality.
“I definitely get more inspiration for what I’m going to wear based on NBA players’ fits. The look for summer 2023 is either graphic tees or pretty generic shirts and then the pants will be either flooded-out pants, baggy pants or mesh shorts. I think those would be the style of summer. When it gets colder that’s going to be a whole different topic,” Josh added.
“Of course, Lucky is always going to stand out. Marcus Sayles has style. Garry [Peters] will show up with shoes I haven’t seen before or a Fear of God hoodie and tell you it’s just from the back of his closet. Manny [Rugamba] and Q [Quincy Mauger] would come up with smooth fits as well.”