Spotlight shines on Woodley, McLee

Updated: November 15, 2006, 2:12 PM ET
By Steve Muench | Scouts Inc.
As each week of the college football season passes, the games get bigger and bigger, and pressure to make plays gets greater and greater. Scouts love this, because they want to see how prospects handle it. The ability of a prospect to step up in the spotlight can play a big role in where he gets drafted. If he can handle the hype and play up to his ability, he should improve his draft value. Of course his draft stock could plummet if he tries to make too much happen and gets away from what has worked for him all year.

No game is bigger this week than Michigan vs. Ohio State, and the Wolverines need DE/OLB LaMarr Woodley to turn in a strong performance if they are to get the win. Woodley has had a strong season, and while he didn't put up big stats against Indiana last week, he played well. As a run defender, he used his hands well and shed blocks fairly quickly. As a pass rusher, he showed a variety of different moves and very good closing speed when he got a clear path to the quarterback.

LaMarr Woodley
Leon Halip/WireImage.com LaMarr Woodley leads the Wolverines with11 sacks this season.
Now it's time for Woodley to turn it up a notch. He primarily will line up opposite Buckeyes' OTs Kirk Barton and Alex Boone, who is expected to play after missing two games with a knee injury. Barton and Boone both have excellent size and long arms. They are capable of engulfing Woodley when the Buckeyes run and riding him past the pocket when they pass. Keeping that in mind, Woodley has top play with sound technique, which means he has to control his emotions in this game. If his enthusiasm to make a play causes him to play with poor technique, he could struggle.

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Steve Muench played four years of Division I-AA football before joining Scouts Inc. in 2002. He has evaluated both NFL and college players for Scouts Inc., but his current focus is on the NFL draft.

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