Coming out of West Lyon High School, LeVar Woods signed to play for Iowa in 1996. 17 years later he's back in Iowa City as a Hawkeye linebackers coach.
In between, there were stops in the NFL with the Cardinals, Bears, Lions, and Titans but he'll always be a Hawk.
After seven years as an NFL linebacker, Woods has been back at his alma-mater for six years. First working as an administrative assistant, Woods is starting his second season as an assistant coach, back in the trenches.
"I enjoy both but this is a complete 180 doing on the field coaching," said Woods. "It's very much more taxing physically and mentally. You're more emotionally involved because you watch a play and you see a kid all week has done it in practice, then you actually watch him make the play on the field, it's very, very exciting and very gratifying. It's a lot of fun."
Woods was the Class 2A player of the year in 1996, then was a two year starter for the Hawkeyes. He went undrafted, and spent his NFL career mainly on special teams. He still brings that determination to the Hawkeyes, who are picked to finish near the bottom of the Big Ten.
"I'd be lying if I said it hasn't come up at some point. Myself, I love it. Being an underdog as a group, that's our mentality, that's what we think. We're excited about that."
Iowa might have the best group of linebackers in the Big Ten. Seniors James Morris, Anthony Hitchens and Christian Kirksey all return after combining to make 332 tackles last season.
"There are three seniors coming back. We're excited about all three of them," said Woods. "Myself and coach Jim Reid, we talk all the time, we're excited about all three of them. We're also excited about the young group of guys that we have that are developing right now. Some guys that are putting themselves in a position for possible playing time."
Woods is responsible for recruiting in Dallas and Atlanta.
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