Two-and-a-half weeks removed from the fact, Michigan finally beat Ohio State – for the Lombardi Award.

Wednesday, senior defensive end LaMarr Woodley edged Buckeye defensive tackle Quinn Pitcock, Penn State’s Paul Poslunszny and Texas’s Justin Blalock for the 37th presentation of the trophy, annually given to the nation’s best college lineman.

“I knew that it was going to be difficult to win because of the quality of players that were named finalists for this award,” Woodley said through the athletic department. “I am honored to receive this award.”

Woodley was the sixth Michigan lineman to be named a finalist for the award, but he became the first to win the coveted trophy.

Being the first Wolverine to hoist the award was the icing on the cake for Woodley, who also took home the Ted Hendricks Award, which honors the best college defensive end, earlier that day.

“To be able to go down in history as the Lombardi Award winner is great,” Woodley said through the athletic department. “It will be around at Schembechler Hall for hundreds of years.”

The senior captain led the Michigan defense, ranked third in the nation against the run. Woodley finished the season as the team leader in sacks (11), racked up 15 tackles for a loss and forced and recovered four fumbles.

The Saginaw native’s 11 sacks this season rank second best of all-time behind David Bowens’s 12 sacks for Michigan’s single-season sack record.

“I am very happy for LaMarr and what he has achieved,” Michigan coach Lloyd Carr said at the award banquet through the athletic department. “He has worked very hard and deserves this recognition. There wasn’t a time that LaMarr wasn’t giving everything that he had.”

Even though Woodley earned All-American honors to add to his individual accolades, he couldn’t corral the Chuck Bednarik Award last night, presented to the college defensive player of the year.

Senior cornerback Leon Hall joined his teammate on the All-America team, but barely missed out on the Jim Thorpe Award last night. Instead, Texas cornerback Aaron Ross took home the trophy awarded to the best defensive back in the nation.

Junior left tackle Jake Long was also named to the All-America team.

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