Charles Woodson began his football career at Ross High School in Ohio. He set the school’s records for rushing yards (3,861) and scoring (466 points). During his senior season, he was named a USA Today All-American and Parade High School All-American. He also played basketball and track and field, but ultimately chose to attend the University of Michigan to play football.
Woodson played for the University of Michigan, under the leadership of Lloyd Carr, from 1995-1997, where he became the starter after only the second game, and continued for 34 straight games. In addition to playing cornerback, he returned punts and played wide receiver. A true two-way player, he was selected as Big Ten Freshman of the year, and second-team All-Big Ten. 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. He was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and named to the All-Big Ten First Team. During his junior season, he became the third Michigan player to receive the Heisman Trophy, and is the only defensive player of all time to receive the award. He led the Wolverines to an undefeated season and a share of the national championship in the Rose Bowl, and 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 during this season. He finished his college football career with 18 interceptions and 30 passes defended, and was selected by the Oakland Raiders fourth overall in the 1998 NFL Draft.
During his 18 years playing in the NFL, during which he played for the Oakland Raiders and Green Bay Packers, Woodson was named NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year, NFL 2000s All-Decade Team, 2-time NFL interceptions leader, NFL Defensive Player of the Year, First-team All-Pro, 9- time Pro Bowl Selection and was a Super Bowl Champion. He amassed 65 interceptions, 13 touchdowns, 33 forced fumbles, 983 solo tackles, 1,205 combination tackles and 20 sacks throughout his career.
He has donated to a variety of charities and good-causes, such as the Hurricane Sandy relief effort, C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital for pediatric research and has his own foundation to support the fight against breast cancer (Charles Woodson Foundation).