Ted Hendricks is a legendary pass rusher who is also a legendary Oakland Raider, spending a Hall of Fame career with the famous Silver and Black while also making stops in Green Bay and Baltimore along the way after a college career spent at the University of Miami.
“The Mad Stork” is most famously remembered for his days with the Raiders where he had most of his success, but in college Hendricks was legendary enough that the award for the best defensive end in college football has been named the “Ted Hendricks Award.”
Since 2002 Hendricks name has carried one of the most prestigious awards for collegiate pass rushers, but in that decade plus no Hendricks Award winner has been drafted or has played for Oakland. That changed this offseason when LaMarr Woodley signed with the Raiders, bringing the 2006 Hendricks Award winner from the University of Michigan to the team where Hendricks became one of the legends of the game.
Recently Hendricks took part in Woodley’s Play it Forward Golf Outing where the former linebacker shared in his excitement of Woodley becoming a Raider with Michigan Live.
“All the Hendricks Award winners are pretty close … like a little family,” Hendricks said to Hugh Bernreuter of Michigan Live. “But LaMarr’s the first one to be an Oakland Raider.”
11 players have been named Hendricks Awards winners since 2002 and the namesake of the award says that due to the community service aspect of the award that he is always extremely proud of whoever is named the best defensive end in the country to win the honor.
“I’m proud of all of them,” Hendricks said. “One of the factors in the award is community service. It’s not just what you do on the field. For LaMarr, a big part of that was a golf outing (Heroes for Kids) that he was a part of that helped kids.
Hendricks also mentioned in his interview with Bernreuter that he is excited to watch Woodley play and try to rejuvenate not only his career, but also an Oakland pass rush that was poor last year even with heavily coveted 2014 free agent Lamarr Houston on the defensive line. With Houston gone and Woodley joining forces with Justin Tuck as the replacements, Hendricks is excited to watch two veterans bolster the Raiders pass rush.
“He’s going to have a great season because they also picked up Tuck to play on the line too,” Hendricks said. “Oakland knew what it needed to do, knew what was missing last year and that was a pass rush. You add Tuck and LaMarr, you have a pass rush.”
Some outside of Oakland have knocked Woodley for his advanced age and the wear and tear that comes with it slowing him down, but the former Super Bowl champion from the Steelers has made it clear he is motivated by personal as well as team goals often this season while claiming the Raiders can make the playoffs on multiple occasions to the media. With a seal of approval from “The Mad Stork” himself, Raider Nation should be excited to see the 2006 Hendricks Award winner play on a defense that was once infamous thanks to a legend who has the utmost respect for the Raiders new acquisition.