University of Michigan

Charles Woodson is the only player to win the Heisman playing significant minutes on both sides of the ball since college football moved to a two-platoon system in the early 1960s.

Heisman Winner

Charles Woodson

CB | Junior | University of Michigan

Woodson won Michigan’s third Heisman, joining Desmond Howard and Tom Harmon. He’s the only player to win the Heisman playing significant minutes on both sides of the ball since college football moved to a two-platoon system in the early 1960s.

Woodson hails from Fremont, Ohio, and starred at Ross High, where he was named Ohio’s Player of the Year as a 1995 senior after rushing for a school-record 2,028 yards on 218 carries. Over his three years on the varsity team, he rushed for a total of 3,861 yards and 466 points. Coveted by schools from all around the country, Woodson signed with his dream school, Michigan, in the spring of 1996.

It didn’t take long for Woodson to make an impact for the Wolverines as he won a starting cornerback job two weeks into his first training camp. He ended up leading the team in 1995 with five interceptions on his way to being named the Big Ten Freshman of the Year and first-team all conference.

Before the start of his sophomore season, Woodson was approached by Michigan coach Lloyd Carr who asked if the player would consider playing on offense as well as defense. Woodson agreed to work out at wide receiver. Throughout his sophomore season, he ran about 10 plays each game on offense while holding on to his defense duties as cornerback. In 1996, Woodson set a Wolverine record for pass breakups with 15, while on offense he caught 13 passes for 164 yards and rushed for 152 yards on six carries. For his efforts, he was named an AP First Team All-American and a finalist for the Jim Thorpe Award.

Woodson continued his fine play as a junior, intercepting seven passes and collecting 43 tackles while catching 11 passes for 231 yards and a touchdown. He was also effective as a punt returner. More importantly, Michigan finished the regular season undefeated and with a shot at its first national title since 1949. As a result, Woodson won the Heisman over Tennessee’s Peyton Manning, making him the first two-way player in a generation to win the award.

The Wolverines finished up with a 21-16 win over Washington State in the Rose Bowl as Michigan claimed a share of the national title.

Woodson was drafted 4th overall by the Oakland Raiders in 1998 and was named the 1998 NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year. He went on to a star-studded NFL career that also included a stint with Green Bay, where he helped the Packers win Super Bowl XLV in 2011. He retired in 2015 after 18 seasons in the NFL.

Woodson was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2018 and into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2021.


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Heisman Voting Results

Number of electors: 921 - Announced: December 13, 1997.

 PlayerClassPositionSchool1st2nd3rdTotal Points
1Charles WoodsonJRCB/WRMichigan433209981815
2Peyton ManningSRQBTennessee2812631741543
3Ryan LeafRS JRQBWashington State70203241861
4Randy MossRS SOWRMarshall175690253
5Ricky WilliamsJRRBTexas43161135
6Curtis EnisJRRBPenn State3182065
7Tim DwightSRWRIowa531132
8Cade McNownJRQBUCLA071226
9Tim CouchSOQBKentucky051222
10Amos ZereoueSORBWest Virginia311021

Three points are awarded for first place on a ballot, with two points for second place and one point for third place.

Heisman Voting By Region

Heisman voters are spread out across six regions, with roughly 145 per region.


1Peyton Manning340
2Charles Woodson218
3Ryan Leaf132
4Randy Moss34


1Charles Woodson314
2Peyton Manning273
3Ryan Leaf118
4Randy Moss49


1Charles Woodson305
2Peyton Manning240
3Ryan Leaf102
4Randy Moss70


1Charles Woodson355
2Peyton Manning218
3Ryan Leaf152
4Randy Moss43


1Charles Woodson339
2Peyton Manning250
3Ryan Leaf129
4Randy Moss25

Far West

1Charles Woodson284
2Ryan Leaf228
3Peyton Manning222
4Randy Moss33


BioVideosStatisticsVote ResultsCharles Woodson’s Heisman Year Statistics

DateOpponentResultTacTFLSacksPBUINTRecYdsAvg.TDsAttYdsAvg.TDsPRYdsAvg.TDsAPYTotal TDs
09/13/97ColoradoW 27-35000112929.000000.0003134.330420
09/20/97BaylorW 38-35300024522.5011-9-9.0004215.250571
09/27/97Notre DameW 21-14400000000.000000.00022914.500290
10/04/97at IndianaW 37-03000112121.000000.0002168.000370
10/11/97NorthwesternW 23-65110113030.000000.000188.000380
10/18/97IowaW 28-24600100000.000000.00067011.700700
10/25/97at Michigan StateW 23-7500020000.000000.000221.00020
11/01/97MinnesotaW 24-330000155.00013333.0013258.330631
11/08/97at #16 Penn StateW 34-82002013737.0011-9-9.000420.500301
11/15/97at WisconsinW 26-16200113279.000000.000100.000270
11/22/97#12 Ohio StateW 20-143001113737.000000.00059719.4011341
Heisman StatsAP #111-04341571123121.0023155.001332838.5715294
01/01/98+ #9 WSUW 21-1611041177.000263.0003186.000310
TotalsAP National Champions12-04451981223819.8325214.201363018.4015604

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