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December 6, 2006

Woodley takes home the Lombardi

Michigan senior defensive end LaMarr Woodley has another trophy to add to his mantle. On Wednesday night, the 6-2, 268-pound Woodley was awarded the Lombardi Award presented to the nation's top college lineman or linebacker, the first in Michigan history to receive the coveted award.

"It is a great honor to win this award and to be the first Michigan player to receive the honor," said Woodley. "It definitely feels nice and it is a honor that I share with my teammates. To be able to go down in history as the Lombardi Award winner is great and it will be around at Schembechler Hall for hundreds of years. I knew that it was going to be difficult to win because of the quality of players that were named finalists for this award. I am honored to receive this award."

Woodley beat out three other finalists for the award. They were Penn State linebacker Paul Posluszny, Ohio State defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock and Texas offensive guard Justin Blalock.

For the season, Woodley tallied 11 sacks, 15.5 tackles for loss and four forced fumbles and lead a defense that allowed just 43 yards per game rushing in 2006. He had multi-sack games five times this season and returned a fumble for a touchdown against Notre Dame on Sept. 16.

Although he is the first Michigan player to win the Lombardi, the Wolverines have had many finalists over the 37-year history of the award. They include defensive lineman Mike Hammerstein in 1985, offensive lineman John Elliott in 1987, defensive lineman Mark Messner in 1988, offensive lineman Greg Skrepenak in 1991 and offensive lineman Steve Hutchinson in 2000.

Earlier in the day, Woodley also received notification he had won the Ted Hendricks Award presented to the nation's most outstanding defensive end. He was also named Defensive Player of the Year as well as Defensive Lineman of the Year in the Big Ten conference. Rivals.com awarded him first team All-American and National Player of the Year honors. Woodley is also a finalist for the Bednarik Award to be presented Thursday night at the College Awards Show.


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