Charles Woodson: The Beautiful Transition
When it comes to Hall of Fame resumes, some are just undeniable. In the case of Charles Woodson if you had to build a football player from the ground up his attributes are what you would start with. To list his career accomplishments would take all day, he has done things in his career that few would imagine.
His football journey started in Fremont Ohio where Woodson was named Ohio's "Mr Football.” He finished his high school football career with the school's records for rushing yards (3,861) and scoring (466 points). In his senior season, Woodson was a USA Today All-America selection and Parade High School All-American and recorded 2,028 yards and 230 points. All colleges recruited Woodson as a running back, while Michigan recruited him as a defensive back.
Woodson attended the University of Michigan, where he played for coach Lloyd Carr's Michigan Wolverines football team from 1995 to 1997. At Michigan, he became one of the greatest college football players in the history of the sport showing abilities to play defense offense and special teams. In 1997, Woodson won the Heisman Trophy becoming the only defensive player in history to win the award.
Woodson followed that same success into the NFL where he went onto play for two of the most iconic franchises in history. He played for the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers. Woodson turned those stints into a NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, He was selected to four straight Pro Bowls, two first-team All-Pro selections, and made a Super Bowl appearance in 2002 in his first stint with the Raiders before signing with the Green Bay Packers.
In his seven seasons in Green Bay, Woodson set franchise records for pick-sixes and defensive touchdowns. He led the league in interceptions in 2009 and 2011, won the Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 and won Super Bowl XLV. He retired in the top five in NFL history in interceptions (65), pick sixes (11) and passes defended (183). He's also the Raiders franchise career leader in forced fumbles (18) and defended passes/pass deflections (84).
When it was all said and done Woodson called his career a “beautiful transition.” In the next period of Woodson’s life, he is a father to two boys and now he runs a successful wine company called “Intercept.” “That’s what it’s all about, man,” Woodson said during his Hall of Fame presser. “It’s about trying to build your legend. It’s all about the journey and being unique and being an innovator and doing things differently than what people would think you would do. That’s how you build your legend by thinking outside the box.”