Charles Woodson is the greatest football player to ever play at the University of Michigan, and he officially cemented his legacy as the GOAT 25 years ago today.
Spend a few hours walking around various tailgates in Ann Arbor during the fall season and ask the Maize and Blue faithful who they consider to be the greatest Wolverine football player of all time. Chances are you’ll get the same answer over, and over again: Charles Woodson.
Woodson played at Michigan from 1995-1997 under head coach Lloyd Carr, where he helped lead the Wolverines to a National Championship and earned himself the Heisman trophy during his final season in Ann Arbor. In fact, it was 25 years ago today that Woodson made college football history by become the first (and only) defensive player to win the Heisman.
Here are some of Woodson’s career highlights at the University of Michigan:
- As a true two-way player, Woodson won Big Ten Freshman of the year and earned second-team All-Big Ten honors.
- During his sophomore year, he set a record for pass breakups (15) and was named Chevrolet Defensive Player of the Year and AP First Team All-American.
- Woodson was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and named to the All-Big Ten First Team.
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- In his final year at Michigan, Woodson became the third player in Michigan Football History (Tom Harmon – 1940, Desmond Howard – 1991) to win the Heisman Trophy, and is still the only defensive player to receive the award to this day.
- Woodson helped lead the Wolverines to an undefeated 12-0 season and a share of the national championship, defeating Washington State in the Rose Bowl.
- For his efforts in 1997, Woodson also won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Jim Thorpe Award. He was also named All-Big Ten First-Team, First-Team All American, Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year and Chevrolet Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year that same year.
- Woodson finished his college career with 18 interceptions and 30 passes defended. His 18 career interceptions is still good for the No. 2 spot on Michigan’s all-time interception list, trailing only Tom Curtis who had 25 from 1966-69.
Below is a video that provides over seven minutes of highlights from Woodson’s career at Michigan: