Danny Woodhead (photo) is a mini Tim Tebow … sans the hype.
Heralding an article with a never-give-up theme about undrafted and cut players who will be playing in Super Bowl XLVI, USA Today put Woodhead, a running back for the New England Patriots, on its front page.
On February 5, he gets to play on the biggest sports stage in the free (and unfree) world, but his underdog, family-oriented story begins in a railroad town in Nebraska.
At North Platte High School — where his dad, Mark Woodhead, was one of the football coaches — he was an explosive, record-setting running back, but the University of Nebraska (and other football powerhouses) didn’t offer him a scholarship. Why? He was an excellent student, had a tremendous work ethic, and was selected Gatorade Player of the Year, but Woodhead is 5’8" tall — in short, he was deemed too short.
Despite the snub from Division 1 schools, he went on to be a star at Chadron State College (a Division 2 school which his parents attended), located in the Nebraska panhandle. At Chadron State he not only got to play with his older brother, Ben, but he shattered enough records to be selected — twice — as the recipient of the Harlon Hill trophy (D-2’s Heisman) in 2006 and 2007. A press release notes how his personal best was also one for the stat books: “Woodhead, a Hill candidate for the fourth straight season, broke the NCAA all-division's career rushing record with 7,962 yards, and his 9,479 career all-purpose yards is second best in college football history.”
Click here to read the entire article.