(Charles Woodson – Provided by National Football Foundation)
The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced on today’s telecast of Sunday NFL Countdown on ESPN that Charles Woodson, the All-America defensive back at Michigan from 1995-97, will be a member of the 2018 College Football Hall of Fame Class.
Woodson, who currently works as an NFL analyst on the ESPN show, was surprised by the program’s host Sam Ponder, who handed him a commemorative football provided by the NFF to mark the announcement.
The NFF broke the news during the show to generate advanced excitement for tomorrow’s announcement of the entire 2018 Class, which will take place during SportsCenter on ESPN between 9:30 and 10 a.m. EST live on set at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Ga.
At least one member of the new class will be on the set with SportsCenter host Kevin Negandhi to represent the 10 All-America players and three elite coaches who have been selected as members of the 2018 class. (Click here for the 75 players and six coaches on the 2018 ballot from the Football Bowl Subdivision and the 98 players and 31 coaches from the divisional ranks.)
Several of the new inductees will also participate later in the day during the pregame festivities, including the coin toss, before the College Football Playoff (CFP) National Championship between No. 3 Georgia (13-1) and No. 4 Alabama (12-1) at Mercedes-Benz Stadium.
CHARLES WOODSON’S CAREER
University of Michigan
Defensive Back, 1995-97
The only primarily defensive player to ever win the Heisman Trophy, Charles Woodson guided Michigan to a national championship during one of the best careers in college football history. He becomes the 31st Wolverine player to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.
A two-time First Team All-American, Woodson earned unanimous honors after his remarkable 1997 season – the same year he claimed the Heisman, Walter Camp Award, Bronko Nagurski Trophy, Chuck Bednarik Award and Jim Thorpe Award. His versatility was on full display that season as he finished second nationally with eight interceptions while also scoring as a rusher, receiver and punt returner. The two-time Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year led the Wolverines to the 1997 conference title after a win against archrival Ohio State in which he scored on a 78-yard punt return, intercepted a pass in the end zone and caught a 37-yard pass for Michigan’s only offensive touchdown. Woodson and the Wolverines would wrap up their perfect 12-0 national championship season with a win over Washington State in the Rose Bowl, in which he recorded an interception and tied for a then-Rose Bowl record with four passes broken up.
The three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection led the team in interceptions all three seasons. Named the 1997 team MVP while playing for College Football Hall of Fame coach Lloyd Carr, Woodson set the Michigan record with 30 career pass break-ups, which now ranks fifth all-time. The 1995 Big Ten Freshman of the Year also ranks second all-time in school history in career interceptions (18), third in single-season interceptions (8 in 1997) and still sits in the top 10 in multiple punt return categories. A native of Fremont, Ohio, Woodson was named to both the University of Michigan Hall of Honor and the Rose Bowl Hall of Fame in 2017.
Taken fourth overall in the 1998 NFL Draft, Woodson played professionally 18 years for the Oakland Raiders (1998-2005, 2013-15) and the Green Bay Packers (2006-12). The nine-time Pro Bowler helped the Packers win Super Bowl XLV following the 2010 season, and he guided the Raiders to an AFC championship in 2002. Woodson twice led the NFL in interceptions, and his multiple honors include the 1998 Defensive Rookie of the Year and 2009 Defensive Player of the Year.
Active in the community, he established the Charles Woodson Foundation, which offers scholarships to students raised in single-parent homes, and he has contributed millions of dollars to the University of Michigan C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital for pediatric research. A member of the Walter Camp All-Century Team, the Big Ten renamed its defensive player of the year award as the Nagurski-Woodson Award in his honor in 2011. He has served as a broadcaster for ESPN’s Sunday NFL Countdown and Monday Night Countdown since 2016.
CRITERIA TO MAKE THE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HOF:
First and foremost, a player must have received First-Team All-America recognition by a selector organization that is recognized by the NCAA and utilized to comprise their consensus All-America teams.
A player becomes eligible for consideration by the Foundation’s Honors Courts 10 full seasons after his final year of intercollegiate football played.
While each nominee’s football achievements in college are of prime consideration, his post-football record as a citizen is also weighed. He must have proven himself worthy as a citizen, carrying the ideals of football forward into his relations with his community and his fellow man, with love of his country. Consideration may also be given for academic honors and whether or not the candidate earned a college degree.
Players must have played their last year of intercollegiate football within the last 50 years.* For example, to be eligible for the 2018 ballot, the player must have played his last year in 1968 or thereafter. In addition, players who are playing professionally and coaches who are coaching on the professional level are not eligible until after they retire.
A coach becomes eligible three full seasons after retirement or immediately following retirement provided he is at least 70 years of age. Active coaches become eligible at 75 years of age. He must have been a head coach for a minimum of 10 years and coached at least 100 games with a .600 winning percentage.
*Players who do not comply with the 50-year rule may still be eligible for consideration by the Football Bowl Subdivision and Divisional Veterans Committees.