If Ohio State can take one, it's Woodson

July, 10, 2013
7/10/13
11:19
AM ET
Ohio State and Michigan don’t get along very well, period.

But if the Buckeyes were able to nab one player for their all-time draft to round out a team, fans might not mind it. Well, if for no other reason than to stick it to the Wolverines.

After analyzing WolverineNation’s draft and looking at my own team, it came down to three players.

[+] EnlargeCharles Woodson
Jonathan Daniel/Stringer/Getty ImagesAt Michigan, Charles Woodson won the 1997 Heisman Trophy and became the first predominantly defensive player to win the award. And he's also from Fremont, Ohio.
It was either Tom Harmon from Chantel Jennings, Desmond Howard from Michael Rothstein or Charles Woodson from Tom VanHaaren.

All three were Heisman winners, and Harmon is the only player to lead the nation in scoring in consecutive years. But sorry, I’ll still take two-time Heisman king Archie Griffin in my backfield.

That left the choice between Howard and Woodson. Both were great for Michigan, but Woodson was arguably the best player on the last national championship team for the Wolverines. Even if that title was shared. (Sorry, couldn’t resist the dig there.)

That said, what Woodson did against Ohio State -- and all of college football for that matter -- can’t be overstated.

An eight-time Pro Bowl selection and seven-time All-Pro, the defensive rookie of the year and Super Bowl champion’s game certainly translated to the NFL.

But this wasn’t a draft based on the NFL, it was a draft based on college, and what the native of Fremont, Ohio, did for the Wolverines was legendary.

The Big Ten Freshman of the Year in 1995, Woodson set a Michigan record for pass breakups as a sophomore with 15, was a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award and was an Associated Press first-team All-American.

In 1997, he was the first predominantly defensive player to win the Heisman. He also won the Bronko Nagurski Trophy and Jim Thorpe Award and was the Chevrolet Defensive Player of the year for the second year in a row.

Ohio State remembers Woodson for returning a punt 78 yards for a score against the Buckeyes in 1997 and stopping a fourth-quarter drive with an interception in the end zone.

He finished his college career with 18 interceptions, 30 pass breakups and countless broken hearts collected from Buckeyes fans.

That made him an easy pick as the player I’d take from Michigan and suit up in scarlet and gray.

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