Rod Woodson left Purdue the same way he entered it - as an All American. He came to West Lafayette from Fort Wayne (Ind.) Snider High School as a Parade All American recruit and finished his college career as a consensus All-America defensive back.
Woodson's four years as a Boilermaker truly were special, as he was named first-team All-Big Ten three times, including being a consensus pick following his junior and senior seasons. Woodson's exceptional career numbers still fill the Purdue record book two decades later. He remains the school's career leader for interceptions returned for touchdowns (three - tied), fumble recoveries (seven - tied) and combined return yards (2,014). He also continues to rank among the top four all-time in interceptions (11), solo tackles (320) and total tackles (445).
Woodson capped his collegiate career in grandiose style against Indiana on Nov. 22, 1986, playing both ways in a 17-15 victory over Indiana at Ross-Ade Stadium. Actually, he played all ways. Offensively, Woodson started at tailback for the first time since high school and rushed for a team season-high 93 yards on 15 carries while catching three passes for 67 yards. At his usual cornerback position, he recorded 10 tackles, one pass breakup and one forced fumble. He also returned three punts for 30 yards and two kickoffs for 46 yards. In all, Woodson appeared in an astounding 137 total plays, approximately 90 percent of the game.
Woodson's exploits with the Boilermakers were not limited to the football field. He also was a two-time All-American in indoor track and field, finishing third at the NCAA Championships in the high hurdles in 1986. Woodson still holds school records in the 55-meter high hurdles (indoor) and 110-meter hurdles (outdoor).
In 1987, Woodson left Purdue, but he continued to soar to great heights. Selected in the first round of the NFL Draft (10th overall) by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Woodson played 17 years in the NFL, including stints with the Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders. He finished his pro career with 725 tackles and 71 interceptions (the third-most in league history), with 12 interceptions returned for touchdowns. Woodson reached the Super Bowl three times with three teams - XXX with the Steelers, XXXV with the Ravens and XXXVII with the Raiders - one of only four players in NFL history to do so. He was inducted to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009 and currently serves as an analyst for NFL Network.
Woodson's Purdue Statistics