Sports Outside the Beltway

Former NFL player Mike Woods dead at 54

Woods, who was a standout at the University of Cincinnati, had a injury plagued career in the NFL that was brought to a sudden end when he was shot as part of a botched robbery. Woods spent the last 27 years of his life as quadriplegic. RIP.

Mike Woods, the University of Cincinnati football team’s first consensus All-American, died on May 28, 2009 in Cleveland at the age of 54.

Woods played for UC from 1975-77 and was UC’s first consensus first-team All-American in 1977. He was voted the squad’s MVP as a junior and led the Bearcats with 114 tackles as a senior. As a co-captain his senior year, he helped lead the Bearcats defense to a No. 11 ranking in the country. He transferred to Cincinnati in 1975 from the University of Tampa.

He was inducted as a charter member of the Bearcats’ Ring of Honor in Nippert Stadium in 2006.

Following the close of his senior season in 1977, he was selected to play in the Senior Bowl. Woods was drafted by the Baltimore Colts with the 52nd pick in the second round of the 1978 NFL Draft. He played three seasons for the Colts, playing in 48 games, starting 36.

A promising NFL career was cut short in 1982 when Woods was paralyzed in a random shooting in Cleveland. He spent the next 27 years as a quadriplegic.


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