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Richard Wood
Jersey #(s)
58, 54
Born May 31, 1953 (1953-05-31) (age 56)
Elizabeth, New Jersey
Career information
Year(s) 19751984
NFL Draft 1975 / Round: 3 / Pick: 68
College Southern California
Professional teams
Career stats
Games played - started 146 - 94
Interceptions 9
Fumble recoveries 6
Stats at
Career highlights and awards

Richard Marlon Wood (born May 31, 1953 in Elizabeth, New Jersey) is a former American football All-American linebacker who played in the National Football League.

College career

Wood attended the University of Southern California where he was a three time All-American for the USC Trojans (1972-1974 seasons). The USC Trojans won two National Championships during Wood's playing years. Wood was modest-sized for a NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly NCAA Division I-A) middle linebacker, but made up for the lack of bulk with lightning speed, game stamina, and a fondness for violent tackles. His trademark "Batman" 'band of black' painted across his nose and around both eyes, as those eyes peered out from his helmet, was celebrated by his teammates, the sports press, and Trojan football fans, and was a gesture to intimidate opponent team linemen and ballcarriers.

Wood came to the varsity as a sophomore in 1972 and not only led the undefeated Trojans in tackles, he surpassed the total of his closest teammate by 30 stops and was also given the responsibility of calling the defensive signals. Wood had five interceptions, returning one for a touchdown and deflected four other passes. For his efforts he gained first-team All-America status. In his junior year he once again led USC to a conference title and another trip to the Rose Bowl. He was a consensus All-America in 1973. In 1974, Wood was part of his second victorious Rose Bowl and national title team. He repeated as a consensus All-America choice. While at USC the Trojans amassed a 31-3-2 record. In 2007 he was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame.

Professional career

Wood played from 1975 to 1984 for the New York Jets and for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. He was also an assistant defensive coach in the early 1990s for the Bucs under head coach Sam Wyche.


He currently coaches high school football in Tampa, Florida.

His brother, Jake Wood, played Major League Baseball from 1961 to 1967 with the Detroit Tigers and the Cincinnati Reds.

His son, Marlon Wood, plays wide receiver for the University of Washington.

He played football in high school at Thomas Jefferson High School in Elizabeth, New Jersey.



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