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Maroon Madness: No. 4 Darren Woodson vs. No. 5 Paul Lo Duca

One of the best NFL safeties vs. One of the best college hitters of all-time

Jon SooHoo (Los Angeles Dodgers)/The Shadow League

The Matchup: Darren Woodson and Paul Lo Duca were both walk-ons when they made their college debuts before earning scholarships at Arizona State. Woodson built a reputation for being a ferocious hitter with a keen-eye for football. Meanwhile, Lo Duca is one of the best contact hitters to ever rep the Maroon and Gold.

No. 4 Darren Woodson:

Basic info: Born: April 25, 1969 in Phoenix, Arizona. High School: Maryvale High School. Tangibles: 6-foot-1, 219-pounds. ASU career: 1988-1991. NFL career: 1992-2004, (spent entire career with the Cowboys).

Notables: Drafted in the second round, 37th-overall, Woodson was crucial part in the Cowboys dynasty in the early-mid 90s. He won Super Bowls XXVII, XXVIII and XXX, while being named to five straight Pro Bowls (1994-1998) and four All-Pro teams, (1994-1996, 1998). Woodson was also inducted into the Dallas Cowboys Ring of Honor, Texas Sports Hall of Fame, Arizona State Hall of Fame and Arizona Sports Hall of Fame.

What you don’t know: Woodson did not have the grades to qualify for a scholarship at Arizona State so he had to walk-on as a freshman, despite being one of the best talents in Arizona High School football history. Woodson is also the only Cowboy to ever play for both Jimmy Johnson and Bill Parcells.


— ASU Career: Three-year starter at outside linebacker

— ASU Career: 2x All-Pac-10 honorable mention (1989-1990)

— ASU Career: All-American honorable mention (1990)

— ASU Career: Senior captain and All-Pac-10 Second-team honors (1991)

— NFL Career: 3x Super Bowl Champion (1992-1993, 1995)

— NFL Career: 4x First-team All Pro (1994-1996, 1998)

— NFL Career: 5x Pro Bowler (1994-1998)

— NFL Career: Second all-time leading tackler for the Cowboys (1,350)

No. 5 Paul Lo Duca:

Basic info: Born: April 12, 1972 in Brooklyn, New York. High School: Apollo High School, Glendale, Arizona. Tangibles: 5-foot-10, 215-pounds. College Career: Glendale Community College 1991-1992, Arizona State: 1993. MLB Career: 1998-2004 (Dodgers), 2004-2005 (Marlins), 2006-2007 (Mets), 2008 (Nationals), 2008 (Marlins).

Notables: After not being recruited or drafted out of high school, Lo Duca walked on at Glendale Community College, where he batted .449 and .461 in his two seasons. In his lone season at ASU, Lo Duca batted .446, with a 37-game hitting streak. Named ASU’s “On Deck Circle,” Most Valuable Player, joining the likes of Barry Bonds and future winners Willie Bloomquist, Ike Davis and Dustin Pedroia. Throughout his MLB career Lo Duca batted .286 with 80 home runs and 481 RBIs.

What you don’t know: In 2007, he was named in the Mitchell Report and later admitted to taking HGH. Reports show he may have been traded from the Dodgers because he stopped taking steroids. Since officially retiring from the MLB, Lo Duca took a completely different career path by analyzing a different sport. He currently works for the TVG Network, which is an online horse and greyhound racing betting business and television network, as a horse racing analyst.


— ASU Career: Named The Sporting News Player of the Year (1993)

— ASU Career: Batted .446 with a 37-game hit streak (second longest streak in program history)

— ASU Career: Named “On Deck Circle” Most Valuable Player (1993)

— MLB Career: Drafted in the 35th-round of the MLB draft (1993)

— MLB Career: 4x All-Star (2003-2006)

— MLB Career: 25-game hit streak (2003, second-longest in Dodger history)

— MLB Career: Led all NL catchers in RBIs with 80 (2004)