Sept. 4, 2010
CHICAGO - The Big Ten Network has named Purdue's Rod Woodson as Big Ten Icon No. 45.
Big Ten Icons, the network's most ambitious multi-platform initiative to date, is counting down the top 50 student-athletes in Big Ten history on BigTenIcons.com based solely on their collegiate playing careers.
Woodson, who starred at Purdue from 1983 to 1986, was a two-sport force.
The native of Fort Wayne, Ind., was a five-time Big Ten champion in track and field and qualified for the Olympics trials in the 100-meter hurdles. He was better known, though, as a two-time All-American as a defensive back on the gridiron. In his final collegiate game against Indiana, Woodson was on the field for 137 plays, playing defensive back and tailback and also returning punts and kickoffs. In all, he had 236 all-purpose yards and 10 tackles.
In an essay for BigTenIcons.com, former Chicago Tribune sports editor Dan McGrath writes, "Versatility was Woodson's athletic calling card."
To read the entire essay and watch a video feature on Woodson, visit his Big Ten Icons locker at BigTenIcons.com.
Icons 50 through 21 are being unveiled through Sept. 16 at BigTenIcons.com. The website also will feature essays, video and other key facts about each student-athletes' career. Viewers can also participate in the "Talk of the Locker Room" contest with a chance to win the $10,000 grand prize. Weekly winners will take home a 55-inch Phillips HD television.
The television show, hosted by legendary college sports broadcaster Keith Jackson, debuts Sept. 18 following a Big Ten Network football telecast in which Icon No. 20 will be revealed. The countdown continues at 9 p.m. ET every Tuesday night through the end of football season and into the spring. The No. 1 Big Ten Icon will be revealed around the 2011 Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament.