Danny Woodhead, a running back who arrived in the NFL as an undrafted rookie in 2008 and lasted a decade in the league, has decided to call it a career.
The 33-year-old Woodhead wrote on Instagram that he is retiring.
“God had crazy plans for a small little kid from North Platte, NE!” Woodhead wrote. “It’s been a wild ride and feel so blessed He allowed me to do what I loved for so long. But now it’s time to say goodbye to the game I love.”
Woodhead was a high school football star who was overlooked by major colleges and instead went to Division II Chadron State. There he became the best player in Dviision II football, twice winning the Harlon Hill Trophy, the Heisman of Division II.
Despite that career, Woodhead was not invited to the Scouting Combine and wasn’t drafted, but he signed with the Jets as an undrafted free agent. After spending his rookie year on injured reserve, he put on a show in the preseason of 2009, rushing for 158 yards in one preseason game. That was enough to earn him a spot on the practice squad, and he was eventually called up to the active roster.
After the Jets cut him in 2010 the Patriots picked him up, and he flourished in New England. Woodhead had 97 carries for 547 yards and another 34 catches for 379 yards in his first year with the Patriots. He would spend three years with the Patriots before signing with the Chargers, spend four years in San Diego, and finish his career last year in Baltimore.
The 5-foot-8 Woodhead looked undersized, but he never let that get in the way of his play on the field. His legacy will be that of a guy who was doubted coming into the league, but proved with his play that he belonged.