Charles Woodson (born on October 7, 1976 in Fremont, Ohio) is an American football cornerback for the Green Bay Packers. He played college football for the Michigan Wolverines. In 1997, Woodson led the Wolverines to a national championship and won the Heisman Trophy. He is the only primarily defensive player to have won the award.
Woodson was selected by the Oakland Raiders in the first round of the 1998 NFL Draft. In his first season with Oakland, Woodson was selected as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press. He was named to the Pro Bowl and earned All-Pro recognition three times (1999–2001). Woodson later battled injuries in Oakland and became a free agent after the 2005 NFL season.
On April 26, 2006, Charles Woodson signed a 7-year, $52 million contract with the Green Bay Packers. In his first season in Green Bay, Woodson led the National Football Conference with 8 interceptions, a career high. He was also the starting punt returner for the Packers.
Woodson was born in Fremont, Ohio, where he played high school football. As a senior at Fremont Ross High School Woodson was named Ohio's "Mr. Football." He finished his high school career with the school's records for rushing yards (3,861) and scoring (466 points). In his senior season he was a USA Today All-America selection and recorded 2,028 yards and 230 points. In addition to playing football, Woodson also played basketball and track.
Woodson played college football at the University of Michigan. He became the starter after the second game of his freshman season and played in 34 straight games. In addition to playing cornerback, he returned punts and occasionally played as a wide receiver. Woodson was selected as the Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1995. He was also named to the All-Big Ten First Team by conference coaches, and Second Team All-Big Ten by the media. He led the team with five interceptions and eight takeaways.
In 1996 he was named Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Year and AP First Team All-American. He was also a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award. He was also named first team All-Big Ten by conference coaches and the media. He set a Wolverine record for passes broken up with 15.
In his junior season in 1997, Woodson won the Heisman Trophy, receiving 282 more voting points than runner-up Peyton Manning. He was the first and is still the only primarily defensive player to win the prestigious award. Woodson led the Michigan Wolverines to an undefeated season and a national championship in the same year. He also won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the best defensive college player. He was named to the All-Big Ten First-Team for the third year and First-Team All-American for the second year. It was also his second year winning the Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Year award and Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year. Woodson won the Jim Thorpe Award, an award which he was nominated for the previous year.
Throughout college, Woodson was known for big plays in big moments of a game. As a freshman he had two interceptions in a victory against the #2-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes. During his Heisman-winning junior year, he made an acrobatic one-handed sideline interception against the Michigan State Spartans. Woodson had two interceptions in the game. In a game against Ohio State, he returned a punt for touchdown, made an interception in the end-zone, and had a 37-yard reception. The win lifted Michigan to the Rose Bowl. Michigan played the Washington State Cougars in the Rose Bowl. Woodson recorded an interception in the game, helping Michigan win the NCAA Division I-A championship.
Woodson declared his eligibility for the NFL Draft following his junior season at Michigan and was selected 4th overall in the 1st round of the 1998 Draft by the Oakland Raiders. After Woodson's first season in the NFL he was named The NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year by the Associated Press. He started all sixteen games, being the first Raider to do so as a rookie since 1971. Woodson had 64 tackles in the season, leading the NFL for defensive backs. He was third in the league in interceptions with five, and also recorded one interception return for a touchdown and one forced fumble. Woodson was named to his first Pro Bowl. In his second season in 1999, Woodson was selected to his second Pro Bowl and was named All-Pro by the Associated Press.
In the 2000 NFL season, Charles Woodson started all sixteen games of the season, but suffered a turf toe injury which prevented him from practicing. He finished the year with a career high 79 tackles, intercepted four passes, forced three fumbles and recovered one fumble. He was named to the All-Pro team by Sports Illustrated, and second-team honors from the Associated Press. In his fourth year in the NFL, Woodson started sixteen games. This was the fourth consecutive year Woodson played in every game of the season. Woodson finished with two sacks, one interception, one forced fumble and one blocked field goal. Woodson also returned punts for the first time in the NFL, returning four punts for 47 yards. He was named to his fourth consecutive Pro Bowl. He also made All-Pro teams of The Sporting News and College and Pro Football Newsweekly and the All-AFC squad of Football News.
In 2002, Woodson suffered his first major injury since his freshman college years, suffering from a shoulder injury which set him inactive in eight games. The shoulder injury came in the second game of the season in the first half. Despite the injury Woodson played the remainder of the game and was able to force a fumble. After his shoulder injury Woodson missed the last three games of the regular season, suffering from a cracked fibula bone in his right leg. Woodson started every Raider game in the 2003 NFL Playoffs, finishing with a start in Super Bowl XXXVII. In the Super Bowl, Woodson showed signs of his injury, but still recorded an interception in a losing effort against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
After losing the Super Bowl in the year prior, the Raiders finished the 2003 NFL season with a record of 4-12. Woodson became unhappy with new head coach Bill Callahan, and criticized him during the season. Woodson remained healthy for the entire season, starting in his first fifteen games. His contract was set to expire after the season. Woodson reached an agreement with Oakland and was labeled as a franchise player. The franchise tag set Woodson's contract with a minimum of the average salary for the top five cornerbacks in the NFL. Although being labeled as a franchise player, Woodson's contract was only for one year. In the 2004 NFL season Woodson played the first 13 games of the season after suffering a leg injury which put him inactive in the last three weeks. After the season Woodson again agreed to a one year franchise tag deal. In the 2005 NFL season, he started the first six games, but broke his leg in the sixth week which side-lined him for the rest of the year.
Green Bay Packers
On April 26, 2006, Woodson reached a 7-year contract agreement with the Green Bay Packers that could be worth as much as $52.7 million with bonuses and incentives. He will make $10.5 million in the first year of the deal and $18 million over the first three years. He will also receive a $3 million bonus if he is selected for the Pro Bowl in two of the first three years of the contract. In 2006, free from any major injuries, Charles Woodson was tied for the lead in the National Football Conference(NFC) with Walt Harris of the San Francisco 49ers for the season with 8 interceptions. This is the highest number of interceptions Woodson has recorded in a single season. Overall, he was tied for third in that statistic in the entire NFL. He was also used as his team's starting punt returner for the first time in his NFL career, returning 41 punts for 363 yards.
|9 year NFL career||122||25||389||0||3|
|9 year NFL career||122||6.5||0|
Punt Return Stats
|9 year NFL career||122||50||420||8.4||3||0||0|
|9 year NFL career||122||2||27||13.5||0||0|
Kick Return Stats
|9 year NFL career||122||2||10||5||0||0|
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1997 - 63rd Award Charles Woodson Michigan Cornerback from Heisman.com, obtained 1 January, 2007.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 CB CHARLES WOODSON #21 from Packers.com, obtained 1 January, 2007.
- ↑ 2006 NFL Stats from NFL.com, obtained 4 January 2007.
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 4.2 Charles Woodson from CNNSI, obtained 1 January, 2006.
- ↑ Key Buckeye-Wolverine games sprinkled through every decade by Larry Phillips of the Gannett News Service, obtained 4 January, 2007.
- ↑ Woodson reminds us all how amazing he is by Alan Goldenbach of the Michigan Daily, posted 27 October, 1997.
- ↑ 'M' back in Rose Bowl after 5 years by Alan Goldenbach of the Michigan Daily, posted 24 November, 1997.
- ↑ NCAA Football Recap (Washington St-Michigan) from CNNSI, posted 1 January, 1998.
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9.2 Charles Woodson #24 from NFLPA.com, obtained 4 January, 2007.
- ↑ 10.0 10.1 Shoulder sidelines Charles Woodson by Nancy Gay of the San Francisco Chronicle, posted 19 September, 2002.
- ↑ Raiders CB Woodson says he'll be ready from Associated Press, posted 30 December, 2002.
- ↑ Raiders' key is Charles Woodson by Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle, posted 27 July, 2003.
- ↑ Charles Woodson rips Callahan after loss by Nancy Gay of the San Francisco Chronicle, posted 3 November, 2003.
- ↑ Raiders make Woodson franchise player from the Associated Press, posted 22 February, 2004.
- ↑ Raiders' Woodson, Gibson likely out up to two months from the Associated Press, posted 24 October, 2005.
- ↑ NFL, Packers reach agreement with Charles Woodson, April 27, 2006
- Won the Heisman Trophy Winner in 1997
- Won the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year in 1998