Recruit to watch: LB Lamarr Woodley

Blue Chip Linebacker LaMarr Woodley out of Saginaw Michigan is considered by many to be the top prospect in the Midwest this year. He has a list of four schools he's looking at right now and one of them is USC.

At 6'2 and 255 pounds, Woodley plays like a man among boys from his outside linebacker spot. It's not just his size that makes him stand out, but also his nose for the ball and ability to cover so much ground on each and every play. Equally impressive is the fact that he's a real leader for his team and takes pride in "keeping the team focused." As a junior for a Saginaw team that made it to the state semifinals, he racked up 112 tackles, 12 sacks, and 6 fumble recoveries. He also stars in basketball, where he averaged 12 points and 12 rebounds last year, and he's also a strong shot-putter, with a best throw of 54 feet.

Woodley attended the Nike Camp at Michigan State in April and wowed on-lookers with his performance. "It was really good, because it was actually the first camp I went to," he explained. "I got to see the other players from around the country who I have to compete with as far as my position. It showed where I was at." And where he was at was at the very top as far as linebackers go. At the camp, he ran a 4.72 forty, he had a 29 inch vertical leap, and he also ran a blistering 4.00 shuttle.

As one can imagine, Woodley has offers from big time programs from around the country. At this point however, he says that he has four schools that he's seriously looking at and he has offers from each of them, "I'm looking at Michigan, Michigan State, USC, and Miami," he said. He has no leader out of that group and he hasn't set up any visits yet, but definitely plans on taking official visits to all four of his favorites. In looking at the different schools, Woodley explained that his primary concern is playing time, "As far as me coming in, if my spot is going to be open, so I can at least get some playing time. That's mainly it right there." He also noted that distance from home is not a factor.

It's a rarity for one of the top players in Big-10 country to look outside of the region, so what has Woodley looking out west at USC? "You know, it's in California. It's everybody's dream to go there," he said. "And, they send a lot of linebackers to the NFL, a lot of good linebackers, like Junior Seau. He's a real good linebacker. I was looking at that and I said 'Hey, if I go there, they can work with me and do the same thing with me.'" Woodley received a call from the Trojan staff during the evaluation period and was impressed with what he heard, "When I talked to them, there were so many coaches I can't even remember all of their names. They said they watched my film and they like how I ran sideline-to-sideline making tackles. Also, how I kept up with the running back on the offensive end, because I play offensive tackle. You know, running down the field with him. They said they like my speed. They think I'm a tough player and think I can come in and play."

Michigan State figures to be the main competition for any school trying to recruit Woodley, mainly do to the fact that Saginaw has sent a number of players there. In fact, Woodley's cousin, Jeremiah Mclaurin, also from Saginaw, currently plays for the Spartans. The big linebacker did explain, however, that this will not play a role in his decision and that his cousin isn't pressuring him to go to MSU, "I've just asked him about different coaches at Michigan State and everything. He tells me to come down there, but he doesn't try to push me, saying 'come on, come on!', or anything like that. Any questions I ask, he just answers."

Woodley is known as somewhat of a workout warrior and he's been busy getting in shape this summer, "I've been working out everyday. I'm doing bench presses and everything else. I've been running, running in the water, running up hills, and everything. Me and a group of guys from the team."

Although Woodley is wide open right now and intent on taking all of his visits, he doesn't plan on wasting anybody's time once he finds the school he wants to attend, as he explained, "As soon as I know the school that I want to go to, I'm just going to get it over with then."


USCFootball.com Top Stories