The Wolverine

January 2021

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 6 of 67

JANUARY 2021 THE WOLVERINE 7 BY AUSTIN FOX T he Pro Football Hall of Fame revealed its 25 semifinalists for the class of 2021 Nov. 25, and four first- year eligible players made the cut — former Michigan cornerback Charles Wood- son, defensive end Jared Allen, wide receiver Calvin Johnson and quarterback Peyton Manning. Woodson was an Oak- land Raider from 1998-2005, a Green Bay Packer from 2006-12 and then finally a Raider again from 2013-15. Allen spent his NFL career with four different clubs (Kansas City Chiefs, Minne- sota Vikings, Chicago Bears and Carolina Panthers) and Manning played for two (In- dianapolis Colts and Den- ver Broncos), while Johnson solely suited up for the De- troit Lions. The former Wolverine competed at Michigan from 1995-97, helping lead the Maize and Blue to an unde- feated 12-0 national champi- onship campaign as a junior in 1997. He also took home the Heisman Trophy that year, becoming the only primarily defensive player ever to win it. He was just the third Wolver- ine to claim college football's highest individual award, joining Tom Har- mon in 1940 and Desmond Howard in 1991. Woodson consistently locked down one side of the field each of his three seasons in Ann Arbor, tallying five interceptions as a freshman in 1995, four in 1996 and seven as a junior in 1997. He also hauled in 231 receiving yards and two touchdowns in '97, while registering a touchdown on a punt return as well. Woodson departed Michigan fol- lowing his junior season, and his dominant performances then carried over into the NFL after the Raiders selected him with the fourth overall pick in 1998. Woodson led the NFL in interceptions in both 2009 and 2011, and he was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 with Green Bay. The Fremont, Ohio, na- tive was selected to nine Pro Bowls, was a first-team All-Pro four times and was tabbed to the NFL's 2000s All-Decade Team. He also helped lead Green Bay to a Super Bowl title in 2011. Woodson wrapped up his NFL tenure with 1,105 tackles, 20 sacks, 33 forced fumbles, 65 interceptions, 13 defensive touchdowns and 155 passes broken up. In addition to those statis- tics, the durability he showed as a pro was incredible, play- ing in at least 14 regular- season games in 14 of his 18 NFL seasons. Woodson also picked off at least one pass in each of his 18 campaigns and tallied a minimum of four in- terceptions in nine separate seasons. Not even age slowed the cornerback down. His final NFL season in 2015 saw him start all 16 games for the Raiders, while recording 74 tackles and five picks. To be considered for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, selected athletes are not allowed to have been an active NFL player for at least five consecutive seasons. The 25 semifinalists were narrowed down from a list of 130 nominees that were revealed in September. The Hall of Fame class of 2021 will be announced during the week leading up to the Super Bowl in February, with anywhere from four to eight new members being chosen. The selected athletes will then be enshrined in Canton, Ohio, Aug. 8, 2021. ❑ Inside Michigan ATHLETICS Charles Woodson Named A Semifinalist For The Pro Football Hall Of Fame Woodson led the NFL in interceptions in both 2009 and 2011, and he was named the league's Defensive Player of the Year in 2009 with Green Bay. PHOTO BY JIM BIEVER/GREEN BAY PACKERS

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of The Wolverine - January 2021