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LeVar Woods: From milking cows to teaching youth

[ 1 ] June 12, 2012 |

IOWA CITY, Ia. – Just when you think you’ve heard it all, along comes this gem from new Iowa linebackers coach LeVar Woods:

To what does he give at least partial credit for a successful football career at Iowa as a player, followed by seven seasons in the National Football League?

Milking a cow, of course.

Woods wanted to attend a football camp not far from his old high school, West Lyon. His mom said she’d pay half if LeVar was able to come up with half, so he got a job.

“I milked cows,” he said.

He raised enough money to attend the camp, which was in Sioux Falls, and the rest is history.

“That training paid off dividends,” Woods recalled recently. “That allowed me to get a college scholarship, and that eventually paid off in playing in the NFL.”

Mindful of his grass-roots beginning, Woods and another West Lyon product, NFL’er Kyle Vanden Bosch, conducted summer camps on the same high school field they once started, and on June 23, what has progressed to become the LeVar Woods Football Academy will pass through West Des Moines Valley High School, where the one-time cow-milker has assembled a star-studded cast to teach the finer points of the game.

Guest coaches during the one-day camp for boys entering grades four through 12 (for $139) include:

Iowa assistants Brian Ferentz (offensive line), Reese Morgan (defensive line), and Darrell Wilson (secondary). Former Hawkeye players Matt Kroul, Brad Banks, Jeff Tarpinian and A.J. Edds will be there, too.

Information about other instructors and the Academy can be found at www.levarwoodsfootball.com.

“They’re all great examples for kids,” Woods said. “They know football fundamentals, and that’s what we’re going to be teaching, but they’re also the kind of guys that kids should be around.”

Woods could have put an abrupt end to his Academy, considering this is his first year as a fulltime Iowa assistant, but he didn’t.

“One of the first things when I knew I might get hired was to call Fred Mims,” Woods said, referring to an Iowa associate athletic director. “I didn’t want to give it up, so I asked him if I could still continue doing it.”

Another potential obstacle to the Academy’s continuation might have been coach Kirk Ferentz – but it wasn’t.

“Coach and I never talked about it; it didn’t come up in the hiring,” Woods said. “He actually spoke at one of the camps last year. He knows I’m passionate about it.”

But who’s milking the cows?

“Not me anymore,” Woods laughed.

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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