VAUGHT: Dawson is Woodson's favorite player

If you try to guess who is quarterback Andre Woodson's all-time favorite Kentucky player, you probably will never get it right. No, it is not Tim Couch. Or any other quarterback. In fact, it is not even a skilled player. Instead, it is a lineman.

Woodson says Dermontti Dawson, a standout offensive lineman at Kentucky and former all-pro center with the Pittsburgh Steelers, is his all-time favorite player.

"I am a big-time Pittsburgh Steelers fan. I met him at the Pro Bowl back in 1993. I think I told him this that I met him at the Pro Bowl when I was 11 or 12 years old and who would have known 11 or 12 years later I would be at the same university playing," Woodson said. "I have always paid attention to him and when I found out he played at Kentucky it just drew me more to Kentucky and everything about him."

If you are wondering how a youngster like Woodson got into the Pro Bowl, remember that he lived in Hawaii because his mother was in the Army. He still calls himself a "military brat" today.

"The games didn't sell out. We went three years in a row," he said. "Tickets were probably about 20 bucks. We went to every practice, too." That is where he met his all-time favorite NFL player — Rod Woodson.

"He has been my favorite player my whole life. My mom was wearing her military outfit so it said Woodson. He looked at her and said, ‘Are we related?' My mom was like, ‘I wish we were.'" Woodson laughed and said. "He has always been my favorite, and he played for the Steelers then. It was always my dream to meet him."

He got that chance becaue he kept yelling at Rod Woodson during practice until the pro player told him he would come over to see him — and his Rod Woodson banner — when practice ended.

"He kept his word and signed my banner and took pictures with me. I think my mom has the picture of him standing there and looking at me. That is a memory I will always have," Andre Woodson said. "It's also why I try to sign every autograph I can. I can remember what it was like to be a kid and look up to a player. If I can put a smile on a kid's face by signing an autograph, I am going to make sure I do that."

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