Richard Wood Elected Into College Football Hall of Fame
May 9, 2007
Linebacker Richard Wood, USC's first 3-time All-American first team football player and a member of the Trojans' 1972 and 1974 national championship teams, has been named to the 14-member 2007 Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) Class of the College Football Hall of Fame.
Wood will be inducted at a Dec. 4 dinner in New York City and then enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame in ceremonies in the summer of 2008 in South Bend, Ind.
He is the 35th Trojan, including 28 players, in the College Football Hall of Fame. A Trojan has been elected into the Hall in 7 of the past 8 years.
Wood's 2007 classmates include 11 other players---center Tom Brahaney of Oklahoma (1970-72), defensive back Dave Brown of Michigan (1972-74), linebacker Jeff Davis of Clemson (1978-81), quarterback Doug Flutie of Boston College (1981-84), defensive back Johnnie Johnson of Texas (1976-79), quarterback Rex Kern of Ohio State (1968-70), running back/wide receiver Ahmad Rashad of Oregon (1969-71), running back Anthony Thompson of Indiana (1986-89), defensive tackle Wilson Whitley of Houston (1973-76), linebacker Reggie Williams of Dartmouth (1973-75) and defensive tackle Chris Zorich of Notre Dame (1988-90)---plus 2 coaches: Herb Deromedi of Central Michigan (1978-93) and Joe Paterno (1966-present).
Wood, nicknamed 'Batman,' was the first 3-year All-American selectee by AP from the West Coast when he was honored in 1972-73-74 (he was a consensus pick in 1973 and 1974). The 3-year letterman from Jefferson High in Elizabeth, N.J., played in 3 Rose Bowls (1973-74-75). Also a 3-time All-Conference first teamer, he captained the 1974 Trojans and won USC's Player of the Game versus UCLA Award in 1972. He led USC in tackles in 1972 and 1973. USC went 31-3-2 in his career. He was selected to play in the 1975 Hula Bowl, Senior Bowl and College All-Star Game.
He was picked in the third round of the 1975 NFL draft by the New York Jets and played for Jets (1975) and Buccaneers (1976-84). He amassed 855 career tackles for the Bucs, the third-most in franchise history.
After his playing career, he became an assistant coach in the NFL and in Europe, a high school head coach, and a law enforcement officer. He resides in Tampa, Fla.
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