Woody, What Else Would You Call a Guy Named Woodhead

Football is a big man’s game.

 

Players are getting bigger and bigger all the time. An Offensive Lineman over 300 pounds was unheard of years ago. But, in today’s game, there are very few Offensive Lineman that are under 300 pounds. When I was growing up a 250 pound lineman was considered huge. Now, a 250 pound lineman and especially an Offensive lineman is too small.

 

Danny Woodhead is listed at 5-8, 200 pounds by his current NFL team, the San Diego Chargers. I think that may be stretching it a bit.

But, whatever size Danny Woodhead is, there is no way to measure the size of this guy’s heart.

 

Danny Woodhead, also known as ‘Woody’, grew up in North Platte, Nebraska. As all good boys from Nebraska tend to do, Woodhead grew up dreaming of playing for the Nebraska Cornhuskers.

But, the Huskers weren’t interested in Danny Woodhead. He was too small.

In spite of his lack of size, Woodhead put up some pretty good numbers in high school. He rushed for 4,891 yards.

 

Division 1 colleges apparently were not interested in Danny Woodhead as a Running Back prospect. Fortunately, Division 2 Chadron State in Nebraska gave Woodhead a shot at playing.

 

Woodhead took full advantage of his football opportunity and rushed for 1,840 yards as a true freshman.

As a sophomore at Chadron State, Woodhead ran for 1,769 yards and 21 TDs. He also had 30 catches for 367 yards.

Woodhead had an incredible junior season gaining 2,756 yards which has never been done before on any level of college football. He won the Harland Hill Trophy for best player in Division 2. Most people won’t be impressed by Division 2 heroics, but there have been a lot of good players that were overlooked by the bigger schools or were late bloomers. Those guys usually end up in Division 2 football or even Division 3.

 

Woodhead sort of had an off year in 2007, his senior season. He only rushed for 1,597 yards.

For his career, his stats are staggering. Eye popping is the first phrase that I thought of when describing the numbers that he put up and again I do realize that this is division 2 football and not division 1.

Over his 4 year career at Chadron State, Danny Woodhead rushed for 7,962 yards and 101 TDs. He had 119 receptions at 1,388 yards and another 8 TDs.

 

 

That size thing would come into factor again as the NFL draft came around. However, Woodhead did run in the 4.3s for Pro Scouts which had to turn some heads. Small guy with plenty of speed, kind of reminiscent of Darren Sproles formerly of Kansas State who has had a marvelous NFL career after a great career for the Wildcats.

 

Woodhead signed with the NY Jets out of college but didn’t get his big break until he signed with the New England Patriots.

 

My aim is not to write much about the NFL, but on March 13th, 2013 little Danny Woodhead from North Platte, Nebraska signed a 2 year 3.5 million dollar contract with the San Diego Chargers.

 

 

The little man from the plains had made it to the big time.

 

 

 

While looking up stats for Danny Woodhead, I discovered that Chadron State College has  a building named after one of my all time favorite writers, Mari Sandoz. If you like the great American West and American history, check into some of Mari Sandoz’ books available at Amazon.com or at your local library.

 

One thought on “Woody, What Else Would You Call a Guy Named Woodhead

  1. alice taylor

    Well, let me take a moment to brag about Jerrell Freeman, a 6’0″ Division 3 player that has made it into the NFL! I brag because he played for the highly successful University of Mary Hardin Baylor football program at a tiny tiny school, and my alma mater! He played his college games on a high school field. That is quite the success story! It is pretty cool to look at the Indianapolis Colts and see Mary Hardin Baylor listed by his name!!!! 🙂

    Reply

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