Woodley 's Up For Whatever It Takes

By Adam Caparell - December 21, 2006

For Michigan linebacker LaMarr Woodley, his choice of colleges came down to two. It was either head to Los Angeles and play for USC, or stay considerably closer to his native Saginaw, Mich. and head to Ann Arbor and become a Wolverine.

Obviously, the comfort of home and draw of familiarity was too much for Woodley to pass up.

“I definitely had a nice time when I came out there and definitely enjoyed all the coaches,” Woodley said. “It was just too far away from home for me. I don’t think I was quite ready for that.”

So being the nice guy that he is, after Woodley made up his mind he picked up the phone and called USC coach Pete Carroll to give him the news.

“I remember when I called coach Carroll and I said, ‘Coach, I’m not going to go there and I’m going to go to Michigan.’ The first words he said were, ‘We’re going to kick your butt in the Rose Bowl.’”

Little did Woodley know how prophetic Carroll’s words would be?

“We end up playing them my freshman year and that’s what happened,” Woodley said.

USC beat up Michigan in the 2004 game, 28-14, as Woodley, finishing his freshman season, spent most of the game watching from the sidelines. He still remembers how relentless the Trojans were that New Year’s Day.

“Constantly getting after it. Constantly coming after us,” Woodley said. “Just all-around they had a great team.”

He also rememberd how successulf USC was at getting to the quarterback. The Trojans sacked John Navarre five times on the day after the Wolverines had only allowed 15 all season.

"It seemed like they sacked our quarterback six, seven times," Woodley said.

Constantly pressuring and throwing the quarterback for a loss is a formula that usually leads you to a win. Just ask UCLA. In their upset of the Trojans Dec. 2, the Bruins had USC QB John David Booty on the run for what seemed like the whole day. They only sacked him twice, but forced him to throw away more than a few balls to avoid a sack or turnover. It’s something Woodley and Michigan would love to replicate in a little over a week.

UCLA also gave the Trojans a lot of different defensive looks throughout the game and some Bruins said the USC offensive line looked like they had no idea what was going on. Don't be surprised if the Wolverines follow suit to some degree.

"Whatever it takes to make something happen," Woodley said. "We're definitely going to bring pressure which we've been doing all season."

Posted by Adam Caparell at 02:22 PM on December 21, 2006

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