The first thing you notice about Lamarr Woodley is how put together he is. Many of you have been around Victor Hobson in person. Well, imagine Victor Hobson a few inches taller and a few pounds heavier and you'll have an accurate picture of Lamarr. One of the most astonishing things about him is his amazing body control. He's especially graceful for someone carrying around 250 pounds. I watched him switch off on guards on a couple of occasions, and he was able to move his feet and stay right with them.
What's even more amazing is this guy can really get off of the ground. You're able to get a really good feel for a player's explosion when you watch him play basketball. The block described in the other story was a thing of beauty. Lamarr was the only Trojan back on a 2 on 1 break. Once the deepest Flint Central player committed to driving to the hole from the left elbow, Lamarr cut him off and leapt high enough to take the ball right off of the guy's hand without bumping his body.
Another test of pure athleticism is the second jump. The best second jumper I ever saw in person was Chris Webber in the early nineties. Lamarr isn't close to what Webber was, but I was impressed with how he's able to get off the ground really well the second time without having to really gather himself. His prowess on the basketball court, while impressive, pales in comparison to the skill I've seen him display on the gridiron the past few years.
As a linebacker, Lamarr is great at seeing a play and getting from point A to point B in a hurry. He's equally adept at blowing up blocks. At this point in Lamarr's career, he's so far ahead of his peers physically that he almost toys with the competition. It was common to see him toss kids around like rag dolls. From a physical standpoint, this guy is ready to get on the field from day one. He would be hard pressed to find an equal in that regard. As with most high school linebackers, he'll have to continue to improve his pass coverage and key recognition. He worked really hard at this during the passing drills at the Nike Camp this summer. It looked to have paid off when I saw him vs. Flint Central (on the football field) this year. I noticed that he opened his hips a lot better and seemed a lot more comfortable in his 45-degree movements. (Our coach coined the phrase 45-degree movements for the practice of linebackers getting diagonal drops. The object is for the LB to open his hips 45 degrees to the QB while keeping his eyes on QB at all times. Then the LB progresses back into his zone by following the eyes of the QB and dropping with 45-degree movements in whatever direction those eyes take him.). He also got his hips around a lot faster when he had to run with backs in man coverage. That was something that they really stressed with him at Nike. His improvement will almost definitely continue in college.
The Nike Camp Stats: (Height: 6-1.5 Weight: 250 40-Yard Dash: 4.72 20-Yard Shuttle: 4.00 Vertical Jump: 29" Bench Reps: 16) answered questions for most, but caused them for others. It was quite evident at the basketball game that his vertical was AT LEAST 29" (he actually looked to get a little higher off of the ground to me; ask LexieGoBlue what she thinks!). The 4.00 shuttle is amazing for someone his size. I would doubt the number myself if I didn't see this kid absolutely eat up a cutback move the Central RB tried to throw on him (plus I was at the Nike camp). Some questioned the 4.72 forty time. Let me just say that it means nothing. For all we know he could've been affected by the really bad turf burn he received on the carpet inside MSU's indoor facility. I, along with many others, can attest to the fact that this kid doesn't run a 4.72 on the football field!
Watching Lamarr, I am reminded a lot of Ray Lewis. Their physical stats are amazingly similar (Ray Lewis is 6-1, 245, 4.6). This comparison popped into my mind when I watched a tape of the Super Bowl XXXV. Ray Lewis turned in a dominant effort and won the MVP. One of the most memorable plays occurred when Lewis chased Tiki Barber down from behind on a sweep. Last year Saginaw played Farmington Hills Harrison in the playoffs at Atwood Stadium in Flint. Lamarr was also dominant in his performance. He too turned in a very memorable and impressive play when he chased MSU's Agim Shabaj down from behind. Saginaw lost the game, but people left that old stadium talking about Lamarr Woodley!
Lamarr's game consists mostly of superior athleticism and instinct right now. He has switched positions a few times in high school and is still learning. Once a collegiate linebacking coach gets a chance to mold him, there's no stopping this kid. He can be a true superstar in the middle of a defense. There's a reason why big George Perles took the time out to stop a Nike Camp drill and go shake Lamarr's hand. This kid is a manchild who will be invulnerable once his experience catches up with his physical talent.
Imposing force in the middle!
Lamarr Woodley Scouting Report
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