June 3, 2009
(12:03 p.m.): Heard about this a couple days ago, but we waited until we got more info before saying anything.
Mike Woods, UC's first consensus All-American who played from 1975-77, died last week at the age of 54.
"Great guy," said Jim Kelly Jr., who played with him at UC for two years. "Absolutely wonderful personality. He lived in Cleveland and came in with a lot of talent. A good frame, but thin. He was one of those guys who worked his tail off and put on some nice weight that made him a speciman to look at. He turned out to be a phenomenal football player."
As a senior in 1977, he led the Bearcats with 114 tackles for a team which was ranked No. 11 in the nation in defense. He was then takend in the second round of the NFL Draft by the Baltimore Colts and played three years in the NFL.
His career was cut short when he was the victim of a random shooting in Cleveland, an act that left him paralyzed.
A service celebrating Woods' memory is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday at EF Boyd & Son Funeral Homes & Crematory, located at 15357 Euclid Ave. in Cleveland. A wake will precede the service at 10:30 a.m.
I didn't know Woods at all, and I didn't realize he had such a tragic end to his football career. I wish I would have talked to him at some point for the book. I just didn't know his story. Here's the obit/story from today's Baltimore Sun, detailing how he was shot and the life he lived afterward.
It's a sad day for the UC community. Condolences to his friends and family.