Charles Woodson Wins Heisman Trophy

At 6-feet 2-inches and 200 pounds, Charles Woodson is the third Michigan Wolverine to win the Heisman Trophy.

The exciting junior cornerback garnered numerous post-season honors including First Team All-American by the American Football Coaches Association. Charles finished the season with eight interceptions. Woodson the versatile player also saw time as a receiver on offense and as a dangerous punt returner on special teams. Charles and the Wolverines finished the season with a 21-16 victory over Washington State in the Rose Bowl to go 12-0 on the season and to claim a share of the National Championship with Nebraska. Charles was drafted 4th overall by the Oakland Raiders in 1998. Charles was named the 1998 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year.

Charles Woodson became the third player from the University of Michigan to win the Heisman. With 921 ballots mailed out, Woodson captured five sections, the Northeast, Mid Atlantic, Southwest, Midwest and the Far West, while quarterback Peyton Manning of Tennessee won the South.

Charles Woodson (born on October 7, 1976 in Fremont, Ohio) is an American football cornerback for the Green Bay Packers. He played college football at the University of Michigan for the Michigan Wolverines. In 1997, Woodson led the Wolverines to a national championship. He is the only player in the history of NCAA Division I-A football to win the Heisman Trophy as a primarily defensive player. [1]
Charles "In Charge" Woodson was selected by the Oakland Raiders with the fourth pick 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 several nagging injuries in consecutive seasons in Oakland leading to his departure and becoming a free agent after the 2005 NFL season.[2]
On April 26, 2006, Charles Woodson signed a seven-year, $52 million contract with the Green Bay Packers. In his first season in Green Bay Woodson was able to avoid injury and showcase his talent. Not only did Woodson have the opportunity to return punts with the Packers, but he also led the National Football Conference with eight interceptions, surpassing his previous career high of five interceptions set as a rookie.[3] In his second season in Green Bay, the injury problems returned and Woodson was forced to sit out two games. In a little over three seasons with Green Bay, Woodson has recorded 24 interceptions, five of which he returned for touchdowns. In 8 seasons with Oakland, Woodson recorded only 17 interceptions.

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.[5]
In 1996, Woodson set a Wolverine record for pass breakups with 15. For his efforts, he was named the Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Year and an AP First Team All-American. He was also a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and named to All-Big Ten First Team by conference coaches and the media.[5]
In his junior season in 1997, Woodson became the third Michigan player to win the Heisman Trophy, joining Tom Harmon (1940) and Desmond Howard (1991). Woodson received 282 more voting points than runner-up Peyton Manning.[1] He was the first and is still the only primarily defensive player to win the prestigious award. [2] Woodson led the Michigan Wolverines to an undefeated season and a share of the national championship in the same year. He also won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy as the best defensive college player.[2] 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.[5]
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.[6] 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.[7] In a game against Ohio State, he returned a punt for a touchdown, made an interception in the end-zone, and had a 37-yard reception that led to Michigan's only offensive touchdown of the game. The win lifted Michigan to the Rose Bowl.[8] Michigan played the Washington State Cougars in the Rose Bowl. Woodson recorded an interception in the game, helping Michigan defeat the Cougars and win a share of the 1997 national championship.[9] In 2007, Woodson was ranked #11 on ESPN's Top 25 Players In College Football History list.