Woodson honored in hometown

Woodson honored in hometown

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The Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allstate Insurance Company made Snider High School and Fort Wayne, Ind. an extension of the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Wednesday during a “Hometown Hall of Famer™” ceremony honoring legendary defensive back Rod Woodson.
“I sat right where you are sitting today,” Woodson told a crowd of more than 600 students, Fort Wayne community members, family and friends. “Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re not good enough, because you are. It’s up to you to put in the hard work and sacrifice that makes the difference between being good and being great, no matter what you do.”
Longtime friend and former agent Eugene Parker presented Woodson with the plaque which will live permanently at Snider High School.  Additional speakers included Snider High School athletic director Russ Isaacs and Allstate representative David Kaehr.
Woodson has remained a familiar face in the Fort Wayne community, having hosted the Rod Woodson Youth Camp from 1994 until 2008 which featured a football camp, cheerleading camp, and concert. Isaacs recalled Woodson’s three-sport excellence in football, basketball and baseball as a high school athlete and Parker described how proud he was to watch Woodson grow and mature as a player from their days as former high school rivals to today, when they could look back and reflect together.

“To be part of a program that brings the prestige and tradition of the Pro Football Hall of Fame to cities like Fort Wayne is an honor for Allstate, our agents and employees,” said Lisa Cochrane, Allstate’s senior vice president of marketing.

As a successful student-athlete in high school, Woodson made all-state his junior and senior years before going on to play college football at Purdue University. During his career as a Boilermaker, Woodson was named an All-American defensive back twice, All-Big Ten first team selection three times and set 13 individual school records. Woodson was inducted into the Purdue Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003.
Woodson was selected in the first round of the 1987 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. He played 17 seasons in the NFL with the Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders. In all he intercepted 71 passes which he returned for 1,483 and a then-record 12 TDs. Both his interception yardage and touchdowns were league records at the time of his retirement.
He was one of only five active players to be named to the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team in 1994. A member of the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s, Woodson was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2009.

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