Willie Wood

William Vernell Wood Sr. (born December 23, 1936) is a former American football safety for the Green Bay Packers in the National Football League. Wood played for the USC Trojans, where he was the first African American quarterback for the entire Pacific-10 Conference. Out of the University of Southern California, Wood was not drafted by any National Football League team. He had to try out before the Packers signed him as a free agent in 1960. He was recast as a free safety, and was a starter in the season. He started until his retirement in 1971. Wood won All-NFL honors nine times in a nine-year stretch from 1962 through the 1971 season, participated in the Pro Bowl eight times, and played in six NFL championship games, winning all except the first one in 1960. Wood was the starting free safety for the Packers in Super Bowl I against the Kansas City Chiefs and Super Bowl II against the Oakland Raiders. In Super Bowl I, he recorded a key interception that helped the Packers put the game away in the second half.


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