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Ickey Woods

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Ickey Woods
refer to caption
Woods in 2002
No. 31, 30
Position:Running back
Personal information
Born: (1966-02-28) February 28, 1966 (age 58)
Fresno, California, U.S.
Height:6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight:231 lb (105 kg)
Career information
High school:Edison (Fresno)
NFL draft:1988 / Round: 2 / Pick: 31
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics
Rushing yards:1,525
Player stats at PFR

Elbert L. "Ickey" Woods (born February 28, 1966) is an American former football player who was a running back for the Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL) from 1988 through 1991. He played college football for the UNLV Rebels. He is best remembered for his "Ickey Shuffle" end zone dance, performed each time he scored a touchdown. After a rookie season in which he set numerous rookie franchise records, a series of injuries shortened his NFL career and he retired after four years.

Early life[edit]

Elbert Woods was given the nickname "Ickey" based on his little brother's pronunciation of his given first name, which sounded like "E-E." He attended Edison High School in Fresno, California, where he played sports. He received one college football scholarship, from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), where he was a four-year letterwinner for the UNLV Rebels. As a freshman in 1984, the Rebels, led by future NFL star quarterback Randall Cunningham, went 11-2 and won the California Bowl 30-13 against the Toledo Rockets, a game in which Woods rushed nine times for 53 yards and one touchdown.[1]

In his senior year of 1987, he broke out and led the nation in rushing with 1,658 yards, with 6.4 yards per attempt. That total remains the second-most in UNLV history, and he still holds the school record in single-game rushing attempts with 37 in two different games. In one of those games, he ran for a personal-best 265 yards against the University of the Pacific. He rushed for more than 100 yards in nine games, and more than 200 yards three times, in 1987, and was named first-team All Big West.[2] He was inducted into the UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame in 1998.[3]

Professional career[edit]

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Vertical jump Broad jump Bench press
6 ft 0+14 in
(1.84 m)
231 lb
(105 kg)
9 in
(0.23 m)
4.54 s 1.65 s 2.63 s 4.38 s 31.5 in
(0.80 m)
9 ft 8 in
(2.95 m)
14 reps
All values from NFL Combine[4]

The Cincinnati Bengals of the National Football League (NFL) in the second round, drafted Woods with the 31st overall selection, of the 1988 NFL Draft.[5][6] He was a breakout star as a rookie, setting franchise rookie records for rushing with 1,066 yards (since broken by Corey Dillon), 15 touchdowns, and an NFL-leading 5.3 yards per carry,[7] along with 228 yards and three touchdowns in the playoffs as the Bengals advanced to Super Bowl XXIII. His team lost the game 20-16 to the San Francisco 49ers, but he finished as the game's leading rusher with 79 yards.

In 1989, Woods tore his left anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the second game of the season, a 41-10 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers. He missed 13 months. By the time he returned, his starting role was filled by Harold Green.

In 1991, Woods injured his right knee in the preseason. He returned at midseason but he ran for just 97 yards on 36 carries. He was out of football by age 26. His career statistics include 332 carries for 1,525 yards and 27 touchdowns, along with 47 receptions for 397 yards. Woods was later named #7 on NFL Top 10's Top Ten One-Shot Wonders.[8]

As of 2017's NFL off-season, Ickey Woods held at least 30 Bengals franchise records, including:

  • Rush Attempts: playoffs (89), playoff season (72 in 1988), playoff game (29 on 1989-01-08 BUF)
  • Rush Yards: playoffs (391), playoff season (307 in 1988)
  • Rush Yds/Att: playoffs (4.39), rookie season (5.25 in 1988)
  • Rushing TDs: season/rookie season (15 in 1988), playoffs (4), playoff season (3 in 1988), playoff game (2 on 1989-01-08 BUF)
  • Rush Yds/Game: playoffs (78.2)
  • Total TDs: playoffs (4), playoff season (3 in 1988), playoff game (2 on 1989-01-08 BUF), rookie season (15 in 1988)
  • Yds from Scrimmage: playoffs (409), playoff season (307 in 1988)
  • All Purpose Yds: playoffs (409), playoff season (307 in 1988)
  • 100+ yard rushing games: season (7 in 1988, with Cedric Benson), playoffs (2), rookie season (7)
  • Games with 1+ TD scored: playoffs (3), rookie season (11)
  • Games with 2+ TD scored: season/rookie season (6 in 1988), playoff game (1; with Charles Alexander, Dan Ross, Stanley Wilson)
  • Games with 3+ TD scored: rookie season (1; with three others)

Personal life[edit]

Woods at Super Bowl XXXVI pre-game show aboard USS George Washington (CVN-73).

Woods is the longtime owner/coach of the Cincinnati Sizzle[9] of the full-contact Women's Football Alliance; one of the players was his ex-wife, Chandra Baldwin-Woods.[10][11] He runs the Ickey Woods Youth Foundation as well as the Jovante Woods Foundation,[11] named for their son who died at age 16. Jovante was an honor student and a member of the Princeton High School football team who suffered a fatal asthma attack at home.[12] The foundation provides funding and education for asthma research and organ donor education.[13]

Woods has six children. Since retiring from the NFL, he has been a sales representative for a meat company, sold security systems, and has owned a flooring store in Cincinnati.[14] In 2006, he was an assistant coach for the Cincinnati Marshals of the National Indoor Football League.

Ickey Woods appeared in Bootsy Collins' video "Who-Dey Invasion."[15] He appeared in a Cincinnati Bell commercial, doing the "Ickey Shuffle" with the company's president[14] and was in a national Oldsmobile commercial doing the "Ickey Shuffle" with his mother.[16] In 2014, he was featured in a national GEICO Insurance commercial in which he reprised his "Ickey Shuffle" while gleefully buying cold cuts at a deli counter.[17] On May 1, 2015, Woods announced at the Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, Illinois that the Cincinnati Bengals had selected offensive tackle Jake Fisher of the University of Oregon as the 21st pick in the second round (53rd overall) of the 2015 NFL Draft. After replicating his signature move, the "Ickey Shuffle" and making the pick announcement, Woods said, "gonna get me some cold cuts," a line from the aforementioned GEICO television commercial.[18] He also appeared in a couple of commercials before Super Bowl XLIX. The dance move is occasionally duplicated by other NFL players.[19]


  1. ^ Brewer, Ray (December 15, 2013). "Led by Randall Cunningham, these Rebels were the first to reach a postseason bowl". Las Vegas Sun.
  2. ^ "Ickey Woods" (UNLV CFB Stats). Sports Reference LLC.
  3. ^ "1998 UNLV Athletic Hall of Fame inductees". Las Vegas Sun. October 1, 1998.
  4. ^ "Ickey Woods, Combine Results, FB - Nevada Las Vegas". nflcombineresults.com. Retrieved March 22, 2022.
  5. ^ "1988 NFL Draft Listing". Pro-Football-Reference.com. Retrieved September 24, 2023.
  6. ^ "Ickey Woods Stats". Pro-Football-Reference.com.
  7. ^ Teammate James Brooks was second with 5.1 yards per carry.
  8. ^ "Top 10 one-shot wonders in NFL history". National Football League. June 18, 2008. Retrieved January 3, 2013.
  9. ^ "Home Page". Archived from the original on April 9, 2005.
  10. ^ "Ickey Woods son's death brought life to others".
  11. ^ a b "Bengals Legends: Cincinnati Releases Ickey Woods". May 12, 2011.
  12. ^ "Ickey Woods' 16-year-old son dies" (Associated Press). ESPN. August 15, 2010.
  13. ^ "Home".
  14. ^ a b Kahler, Kalyn (January 29, 2016). "Ickey Woods Is Still Shuffling" (Interview). Sports Illustrated.
  15. ^ Who-Dey Invasion. buckass26. September 11, 2007. Retrieved January 21, 2022 – via YouTube.
  16. ^ "ICKEY ALWAYS DID IT HIS WAY, AND STILL DOES - Deseret News". Deseret News.
  17. ^ "Watch Ickey Woods bring back the Ickey Shuffle in Geico ad - Los Angeles Times". Los Angeles Times. September 5, 2014.
  18. ^ Ickey Woods does 'Ickey Shuffle' before annoucing [sic] Bengals 2nd round pick: 2015 NFL Draft. NFL. May 1, 2015. Retrieved January 21, 2022 – via YouTube.
  19. ^ "Jeremy Hill does Ickey Shuffle after touchdown (Video)". Larry Brown Sports. October 12, 2014.

External links[edit]