Hall of Fame - Inductee Detail

Richard "Batman" Wood

Richard "Batman" Wood

Details

  • Position: Linebacker
  • School: Southern California
  • High School: Elizabeth, NJ (Thomas Jefferson HS)
  • Years: 1972-1974
  • Inducted: 2007
  • Place of Birth: Elizabeth, NJ
  • Date of Birth: May 31, 1953
  • Jersey Number: 83
  • Height: 6-2
  • Weight: 213

Member Biography

Known as �Batman,� linebacker Richard Wood was a member of two National Championship teams and was Southern California�s first three-time All-America. Wood came from an athletic family in Elizabeth, New Jersey as his brother Jake played second base for the Detroit Tigers. In high school Wood excelled in basketball, track and wrestling. His track and wrestling skills prepared him well for playing inside linebacker as his 4.6 speed allowed him to track down speedy backs while his strength made his hits seem �like a hammer� according to Coach John McKay. Wood came to the varsity in 1972 and not only led the undefeated Trojans in tackles, he surpassed the total of his closest teammate by 30 stops. In games against UCLA and Arkansas he had 18 tackles. Just a sophomore, Wood was also given the responsibility of calling the defensive signals. Richard also excelled in pass coverage with five interceptions, returning one for a touchdown and deflected four other passes. For his efforts he gained first-team All-America status. In his junior year he once again led USC to a conference title and another trip to the Rose Bowl. His All-America status was elevated to that of a consensus choice. He turned in another great performance with 18 stops against Notre Dame. In 1974, Wood was part of his second victorious Rose Bowl and national title team. He repeated as a consensus All-America choice. He closed his career with an impressive 31-3-2 record. Drafted by the New York Jets, he spent most of his pro career with Tampa Bay. After leaving the Bucs, Wood has coached on the pro level in the NFL and Europe. He also was a highly successful high school coach.