Matt Woodlief, while not a formal captain for the 2010 Wake Forest football team, was certainly one of the club’s leaders. A quietly vocal leader, Matt was not expected to start in 2010 as a number of younger players had moved ahead of him during spring practice. However, Matt wound up starting nine of 12 games as a senior including nine of the last 10 contests. Matt finished fourth on the team in total tackles with 57 and was second on the club with 11.5 tackles for loss and sixth on the club with 1.5 sacks.
Matt comes from a small, rural high school in a very rural area of North Carolina. While he had several scholarship offers coming out of high school, he was not highly-sought after. However, through hard work, dedication in the weight room, and perseverance, he became a valuable contributor to Wake Forest’s defense. He started all 12 games in 2009 and his versatility allowed him to start at both middle linebacker and weak side linebacker. As a sophomore, he led the Demon Deacons in special teams tackles. During his four seasons at Wake Forest, Matt never missed a game, playing in 50 games during his career. While never seeking attention, he was always available to talk to the media, whether it was following a great win or a devastating loss. In the community Matt also participated in Santa’s Helpers program, wrapping and delivering presents to under-privileged youngsters in Winston-Salem.