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Rod Woodson Set for Nov. 12 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, Presented by Fidelity Investments
Purdue and the National Football Foundation will jointly honor Woodson, a 2016 College Football Hall of Fame inductee, as the Boilermakers host Northwestern.
Published: 11/9/2016 1:00:00 PM

IRVING, Texas (Nov. 9, 2016) – Purdue University and The National Football Foundation (NFF) & College Hall of Fame announced today that they will jointly honor Rod Woodson with an NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute, presented by Fidelity Investments. The Salute will take place Nov. 12 in West Lafayette, Ind., during the Boilermakers’ game against Northwestern. Coverage of the game will start at Noon ET on the Big Ten Network.

“I definitely appreciate it,” Woodson said during the press conference announcing the class in January. “It’s a huge honor. Just thinking about all the players who have played collegiate football throughout the years and to think a young kid from Fort Wayne, Indiana, who went to Snider High School and Purdue University, to be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame is just an accomplishment, and an honor that I’ll cherish forever.”

The NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salute program, which began with the inaugural class in 1951, has become a hallowed tradition, and to this day the singular events remain the first of numerous activities in each inductee’s Hall of Fame experience. During the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes, each inductee returns to his alma mater to accept a Hall of Fame plaque that will remain on permanent display at the institution. The events take place on the field during a home game, and many inductees cite the experience as the ultimate capstone to their careers, providing them one more chance to take the field and hear the crowd roar their name.

“Rod Woodson left his mark as one of the best defensive backs in both Purdue and Big Ten history,” said NFF President and CEO Steve Hatchell. “The All-American set 13 individual school records and the Big Ten’s Defensive Back of the Year Award now carries his name. We are thrilled to honor him in front of the Boilermaker faithful at Ross-Ade Stadium.”

The runner-up for the 1986 Jim Thorpe Award, Woodson was a consensus First Team All-American as a senior and a three-time First Team All-Big Ten selection who started all 45 games of his career. He left Purdue as the career leader in solo tackles, interceptions, interception return yardage, interceptions returned for touchdowns, kickoff returns and kickoff return yardage, and he still ranks in the top five in nearly every category.

The senior team captain and MVP is also tied for the school record for career fumble recoveries, and he boasts the Boilermakers’ longest interception return, a 100-yard  run back against Iowa in 1986. Named Purdue’s 1986-87 Male Athlete of the Year, Woodson led the Boilermakers to an appearance in the 1984 Peach Bowl. He finished his career with 445 tackles, 11 interceptions and 29 pass breakups while adding 71 kickoff returns for 1,535 yards and one touchdown.

Taken 10th overall in the 1987 NFL Draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers, Woodson played 17 seasons in the league with the Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens and Oakland Raiders. The 1993 NFL Defensive Player of the Year was an 11-time Pro Bowl selection, and he appeared in three Super Bowls, winning Super Bowl XXXV as a member of the Ravens.

A 2009 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee, he is a member of the NFL’s 75th Anniversary Team and the NFL’s All-Decade Team of the 1990s. Woodson was inducted into the Purdue Athletics Hall of Fame in 2003 and the Big Ten’s annual Tatum-Woodson Defensive Back of the Year Award carries his name. He now serves as the assistant defensive backs coach for the Oakland Raiders.

Woodson becomes the eighth Boilermaker to be inducted, joining Otis Armstrong (1970-72), Dave Butz (1970-72), Bob Griese (1964-66), Mark Herrmann (1977-80), Cecil Isbell (1935-37), Leroy Keyes (1966-68) and Mike Phipps (1967-69). Five coaches with stops in West Lafayette are also in the Hall: William “Lone Star” Dietz (1921), Jack Mollenkopf (1956-69), Jim Phelan (1922-29), Andy Smith (1913-15) and Jim Young (1977-81).

Including the 2016 class, only 977 players and 211 coaches have been inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame from the nearly 5.19 million people who have played or coached the game over the past 147 years. In other words, only two ten-thousandths of one percent (.0002) of those who have set foot on the gridiron have earned the distinction. Click here for a complete list of players and coaches in the Hall.

The 2016 College Football Hall of Fame Class will be officially inducted at the 59th NFF Annual Awards Dinner, held at New York City’s historic Waldorf Astoria Hotel on Tuesday, Dec. 6. This year’s College Football Hall of Fame Class includes: Marlin Briscoe (Nebraska Omaha), Derrick Brooks (Florida State), Tom Cousineau (Ohio State), Randall Cunningham (UNLV), Troy Davis (Iowa State), William Fuller (North Carolina), Bert Jones (LSU), Tim Krumrie (Wisconsin), Pat McInally (Harvard), Herb Orvis (Colorado), Bill Royce (Ashland [Ohio]), Mike Utley (Washington State), Scott Woerner (Georgia), Rod Woodson (Purdue) and coaches Bill Bowes (New Hampshire) and Frank Girardi (Lycoming [Pa.]). For more information on the Dinner, please contact Will Rudd at or by calling 972.556.1000.

The inductees will also be honored at the National Hall of Fame Salute at the Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl on Dec. 31, and they will take part in a series of events at the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta where their accomplishments will be forever immortalized.

Remaining Scheduled 2016 NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes
Presented by Fidelity Investments
(Chronological Order)





Nov. 12

Rod Woodson

Purdue (1983-86)


Nov. 19

Pat McInally

Harvard (1972-74)


The 2016 season marks the seventh season that Fidelity Investments, a leading provider of not-for-profit workplace retirement savings plans to higher education employees, is serving as the national presenting sponsor of the NFF Hall of Fame On-Campus Salutes. The salutes are one component of a multi-year initiative between the two organizations to celebrate the scholar-athlete ideal and a joint commitment to higher education. At the start of the 2014 season, Fidelity became the presenting sponsor of The William V. Campbell Trophy, college football’s premier scholar-athlete award, which will be presented for the 27th time in 2016.

Other highlights of the sponsorship include Fidelity becoming the first presenting sponsor of the organization’s prestigious NFF National Scholar-Athlete Awards and helping launch the NFF Faculty Salutes Initiative, which recognizes the contributions of the faculty athletics representatives around the country.

About Fidelity Investments
Fidelity’s goal is to make financial expertise broadly accessible and effective in helping people live the lives they want. With assets under administration of $5.6 trillion, including managed assets of $2.1 trillion as of September 30, 2016, we focus on meeting the unique needs of a diverse set of customers: helping more than 25 million people invest their own life savings, nearly 20,000 businesses manage employee benefit programs, as well as providing nearly 10,000 advisory firms with investment and technology solutions to invest their own clients’ money. Privately held for 70 years, Fidelity employs 45,000 associates who are focused on the long-term success of our customers. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit

About The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame
Founded in 1947 with early leadership from General Douglas MacArthur, legendary Army coach Earl "Red" Blaik and immortal journalist Grantland Rice, The National Football Foundation & College Hall of Fame is a non-profit educational organization that runs programs designed to use the power of amateur football in developing scholarship, citizenship and athletic achievement in young people. With 120 chapters and 12,000 members nationwide, NFF programs include, the College Football Hall of Fame in Atlanta, The William V. Campbell Trophy presented by Fidelity Investments, annual scholarships of more than $1.3 million and a series of initiatives to honor the legends of the past and inspire the leaders of the future. NFF corporate partners include Delta Air Lines, Fidelity Investments, Herff Jones, Hofmann Brands, New York Athletic Club, Pasadena Tournament of Roses, PrimeSport, the Sports Business Journal, Under Armour and VICIS. Learn more at

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