Feb. 27, 2007
By Chris Huston
Special to CSTV.com
The Heisman Pundit breaks down the top players for CSTV.com.
When people talked about the top quarterbacks in the SEC last season, the names JaMarcus Russell, Chris Leak and Erik Ainge tended to dominate the conversation.
One name - that of the player who just so happened to lead the league in passing yards and touchdowns -was invariably missing.
But don't expect
"It was a great feeling, winning that bowl," said Woodson. "Ours is a program that hasn't been used to much success. Now we are heading in the right direction."
He steered the team well as a junior, throwing for 3,515 yards and 31 touchdowns with only seven interceptions in 419 attempts as the Wildcats won eight games for the first time since that '84 season. Woodson's numbers could attract some Heisman chatter if he can do it again next year - and if the Wildcats increase their win total.
"The Heisman is not really in my mind right now," said Woodson. "It's a great honor, but for us to have another great year like last year would be even bigger."
Success was a long time coming for Woodson, who went through a lot of growing pains in his first couple seasons at
"My sophomore year was tough," said Woodson, who struggled as
The turning point in Woodson's development - and
"We knew we had a good team," said Woodson of last season's first half. "We just weren't clicking like we should've been. But then we got Rafael Little back and our running game got in a groove with Tony Dixon and that opened up the passing game."
Woodson took advantage. He was on fire the last six games, throwing for 1,878 yards with 16 touchdowns and just three interceptions. Heading into spring ball, he feels the program has a lot of momentum left in it.
"We got a taste of victory and now the sky is the limit," said Woodson. "I think the guys feel like there is some pressure now. We lost some close games last year and now our thought is `Let's go win those this year.' I think people are looking at last year as something to push them. Going 8-5 isn't good enough."
It suits some
"We've been taken care of pretty well," said Woodson. "We've gotten a lot of love and respect, which hasn't happened in a while around here. It feels great. People just love us.
"But we can't get too carried away."
Woodson showed how grounded he was when he passed up the chance to take his talents to the NFL following last season's success. With his size, arm strength and athleticism, he could have been an early-round selection. Instead, he embraced the idea of continuing to build the
"I didn't want to leave the program after one good season," said Woodson. "A lot of people could have said I was a one-hit wonder. Besides, something very special is happening here and I want to help make things better."
And the goal this year?
"We want to compete for the SEC title," said Woodson. "I think we have a chance, with all the guys we have back, to pull off some upsets."
If that happens, look for Woodson to pull of some upsets of his own in the Heisman race.
Andre' Woodson in 2006
264 for 419, 63%, 3,515 yards, 31 TDs, 7 INTs, 154.55 efficiency rating
Best Game: Went 29 for 42 for 450 yards with 4 TDs and 0 INTs against Vanderbilt
Had at least three TD passes in 8 of 13 games
Has an active streak of 162 passes without an interception