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
In 1997, Woodson led the Wolverines to a
He is the only player in the history of NCAA
Division I-A football to win the Heisman Trophy as a primarily
Charles "In Charge" Woodson was selected by the Oakland Raiders
with the fourth pick in the
first round of the 1998 NFL Draft
his first season with Oakland, Woodson was selected as the NFL Defensive Rookie of the
by the Associated Press
He was named to the Pro Bowl
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
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. 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
Woodson was born in Fremont, Ohio. As a senior at Fremont Ross High School
was named Ohio's "Mr.
." 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
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, 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.
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
. He was the first and is still the only primarily
defensive player to win the prestigious award. Woodson led the
undefeated season and a share of the national
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
, an award which he was nominated for the previous
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
. 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 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.
Michigan played the Washington State Cougars
Rose Bowl. Woodson recorded an interception in the game, helping
Michigan defeat the Cougars and win a share of the 1997 national
championship. In 2007, Woodson was ranked #11 on ESPN's Top 25
Players In College Football History list.
Woodson declared his eligibility for the NFL
following his junior season at Michigan and was selected
4th overall in the 1st round of the 1998
by the Oakland Raiders
After Woodson's first season in the NFL
named The NFL Defensive
Rookie of the Year
by the Associated Press
. He started all sixteen
games, becoming the first rookie Raider since 1971 to do so.
Woodson had 64 tackles that 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 as well as
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
Woodson started all sixteen games of the season but suffered a
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
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
the first 13 games of the season before 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
sidelined him for the rest of the year.
Green Bay Packers
On April 26, 2006, Woodson and the Green Bay Packers reached a
7-year contract agreement 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 to
the Pro Bowl in two of the first three years of the contract. Free
of any major injuries during the 2006 season, Charles Woodson (tied
with Walt Harris of the San Francisco 49ers) led the National
Football Conference with eight interceptions. Those are the most
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.
Woodson signing autographs in March
On October 14, 2007 Woodson picked up a Santana Moss
fumble and returned it 57 yards
for a go-ahead touchdown in a 17-14 victory over the Washington Redskins
. He also recorded an
interception in the game, his first of the season. Woodson was
named the NFC's Defensive Player of the Week for his performance
versus the Redskins. It was the first time he has received this
award. On November 4, 2007 Woodson had a 46-yard interception
return for a touchdown with 59 seconds remaining in the 4th quarter
to seal a win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
On September 15, 2008 Woodson recorded two interceptions in a 48-25
victory over the Detroit Lions
returned the second interception 41 yards for a touchdown.
Woodson was named NFL Defensive Player Of The Month for September
in both 2008 and 2009.
On December 16, 2008, Woodson was named to his fifth Pro Bowl, his
first with the Packers. Woodson had solid seasons in 06 and 07 as
he had 8 interceptions and 1 TD in 2006 and 4 interceptions and 2
TD's in 2007.
On November 15, 2009, Woodson recorded nine tackles (two for loss),
a sack, two forced fumbles and an interception in a 17-7 victory
over the Dallas Cowboys. He was named NFC Defensive Player of the
Week for his performance.
November 26, 2009, Woodson had an impressive Thanksgiving game at
Field against the Detroit
He recorded 7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 forced fumble
and recovery (same play), 4 passes defended and 2 interceptions,
one of which he returned for a touchdown. He covered star receiver
Calvin Johnson and limited him to 2 catches for 10 yards. Although
one of these was a touchdown, Green Bay won the game 34-12. He
earned his nickname Charles "In Charge" Woodson with this
He has had more interceptions in his three plus years with the
Packers (26) than he did in his previous eight with the Raiders
(17). He also has more touchdowns with the Packers (6 vs 2) and
Sacks (6 vs 5.5)
an oenophile and developed his interest in
wine while playing football in Oakland, near
He partnered with former Robert Mondavi
winemaker Rick Ruiz to develop
a signature wine label, "Twentyfour by Charles Woodson". The
company is based in Napa, California, and is a small boutique
winery, producing fewer than one thousand cases per year of its two
varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon
. Although the wine
bears his name and signature, Woodson was warned by the NFL not to
be seen endorsing the wine himself because of the league's alcohol
In November 2009, it was announced that Woodson has contributed $2
million to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children's Hopsital
for pediatric research.
- 1997 - 63rd Award Charles Woodson Michigan
Cornerback from Heisman.com, obtained 1 January 2007.
2006 NFL Stats from NFL.com, obtained 30 November, 2007.
- Charles Woodson from CNNSI, obtained 1 January 2006.
- 1997 - 63rd Award Charles Woodson Michigan
Cornerback from Heisman.com, obtained 1 January 2007.
- CB CHARLES WOODSON #21 from Packers.com,
obtained 1 January 2007.
- 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
- Charles Woodson #24 from NFLPA.com, obtained 4 January
- Shoulder sidelines Charles Woodson by Nancy
Gay of the San Francisco Chronicle, posted 19
- Raiders CB Woodson says he'll be ready from
Press, posted 30 December 2002.
- Raiders' key is Charles Woodson by Gwen
Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle, posted 27
- 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.Woodson was also the
designated franchise player for the Oakland Raiders for two
straight seasons. 24 October 2005.
- NFL, Packers reach agreement with Charles Woodson, April
- NFL, Woodson returns fumble for touchdown as Packers
beat Redskins, 17-14, October 14, 2007
- NFL, Packers' Woodson Wins NFC's Defensive Player Of
Week, October 17, 2007
Ex-Wolverine Charles Woodson's return to Michigan one to