Danny Woodhead Elected To The College Football Hall Of Fame


By John Murphy CSC Sports Information Director

Former Chadron State College All-American running back Danny Woodhead has been elected to the College Football Hall of Fame Class of 2024.

The selections were announced on ESPN Monday afternoon by the National Football Foundation and the College Football Hall of Fame on ESPN.

Woodhead played for CSC from 2004-07, helping lead the Eagles to the NCAA Division II playoffs his final two years, when he was also the Harlon Hill Trophy winner as the top player in D II.

He broke the all-time, all-level college football rushing record his senior year in 2007, the same season he was named the D II National Scholar-Athlete as a senior

Undoubtedly the most successful and well-known football player that Nebraska has produced in the 21st Century, Woodhead is the first Chadron State player elected to the College Football Hall of Fame.

He’s already a member of the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame and entered the Chadron State College Athletic Hall of Fame last fall.
Although just 5-8, 185 pounds when he arrived at Chadron State in the fall of 2004, Woodhead had already come up big in everything he had done athletically.

As a senior at North Platte High School when he rushed for 2,037 yards and 31 touchdowns, he was the Nebraska Gatorade Football Player of the Year, offensive captain of both the Omaha World-Herald’s and Lincoln Journal Star’s all-class, all-state football teams and was Huskerland Report’s Player of the Year. 
Since both of Woodhead’s parents, Mark and Annette, were Chadron State graduates and older brother Ben was a wide receiver on the CSC team, the Eagles had an inside track in landing him when he was passed over by the Huskers. 
Danny didn’t start the first game with the Eagles his freshman year, but he had clinched the starting job by the third game in which he rushed for a school-record 306 yards and scored five touchdowns. It launched a fantastic career.

He would rush for 300-plus yards three more times, set the NCAA II record for most 200-yard or more games (19), score touchdowns in 38 consecutive games and romp at least 50 yards to the end zone 21 times.
He became college football’s all-time leading rusher with 7,962 yards, rolled up 9,480 all-purpose yards, and scored 109 touchdowns (tying him for the most in college football annals).

He won the Harlon Hill Trophy, which goes to D II’s outstanding player, both his junior and senior seasons.
In addition, Woodhead was the D II National Scholar-Athlete and graduated with a 3.72 GPA as a health and physical education and math major. Two years later, he was voted the RMAC’s All-Time Outstanding Offensive Player when its All-Century Team was selected.  He was inducted into the Nebraska Football Hall of Fame in 2018.
He was not drafted by an NFL team in the spring of 2008, but ended up enjoying a 10-year career in the National Football League.
After playing in 11 games for the New York Jets before being released, the Patriots quickly nabbed him and he played for them the next three years, rushing for 547 yards and five touchdowns in 2010 and catching a TD pass from Tom Brady in Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.
The next four years he was an all-purpose back for the San Diego (now Los Angeles) Chargers.  He also was an invaluable piece of Philip Rivers’ arsenal.  He caught 76 passes for 605 yards and six touchdowns his first year there in 2013.
After missing most of the 2014 season, he returned in 2015 for another excellent season, grabbing 80 passes for 755 yards and 6 TDs and also rushing for 336 yards and three more scores. Another ACL injury in the second game ended his 2016 season.
The following winter, he signed a three-year contract with Baltimore, but injuries allowed him to play only eight games for the Ravens and he retired in early 2018. During his NFL career, he played in 101 games, rushed 517 times for 2,238 yards, caught 300 passes for 2,698 yards and scored 32 touchdowns.
During his farewell message, the media reported that the ever-gracious Woodhead thanked God, his family, his agent, his former coaches, singling them out by name, his former high school, college and NFL teammates and the medical personnel who had helped him along the way.
Woodhead, who was inducted into CSC’s Hall of Fame last fall, will officially be inducted into the 2024 College Football Hall of Fame Class on Tuesday, December 10, 2024 at the 66th National Football Foundation Annual Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada.
A total of 5.7 million people has played or coached college football and only 1,304 (0.02%) of them can claim the honor of being inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame like Danny Woodhead can.