Big 10

Charles Woodson plans to be around Ann Arbor, Michigan football more following NFL career

May 11, 2016

Heisman Trophy winner and ex-Michigan cornerback Charles Woodson says he plans on being around the Wolverines a little more often now that his NFL career is over.

After 18 seasons in the NFL, Woodson retired following the 2015-16 season. Woodson said he’s talked with coach Jim Harbaugh on occasion and now that he has more free time, he wants to be around the program and in Ann Arbor more.

“I’ve talked to him a few times, but you know he’s so busy, so I guess it’s when I can catch him,” Woodson said. “But we’ve talked briefly, my plan is now that I’m retired, at least a couple times a year I want to get here.”

While being around the football team is part of the reason for his return, it’s also to show those closest to him what the school and football program mean to him.

“I want to bring my kids here, I want to bring my wife here. They’ve never been to a game, so they haven’t experienced what I experienced for so many years,” Woodson said. “It would be great to bring them here, get them into The Big House and get them to understand what the love affair is all about.”

During a special meet-and-greet event to promote his TwentyFour brand of wine in Ann Arbor on Wednesday night, Woodson spoke with dozens of fans, signed autographs and posed for pictures with guests. But almost everyone wanted to know what he thought about the Michigan football team’s prospects for the 2016 season.

As far as the current team goes, plenty have attempted to compare current Michigan redshirt sophomore Jabrill Peppers to Woodson during the early portion of his career. Michigan’s roster also features All-American cornerback Jourdan Lewis. Woodson says he’s been in touch with Peppers during his time at Michigan but hasn’t had to offer much advice to either player.

“I talk to Jabrill periodically, usually we text each other. I usually text him after a game to tell him something I’ve seen,” Woodson said. “The great thing about those young guys is that I don’t think you have to tell them much. They both seem to have that drive to be great.”

“When you have that, there’s not really a whole lot that you can say to them.”

Woodson also said seeing the renewed interest in the program from fans and recruits is a welcomed sight and a sign of things to come for the Wolverines.

“Having guys excited to come here, that’s what it’s all about,” Woodson said. “The recruiting has been great. I’m glad to see these top guys coming here… because we’re looking to dominate. That’s what Michigan is all about.”

Matt Durr is a business reporter for The Ann Arbor News. Email him at mattdurr@mlive.com or follow him on Twitter.

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