When former Orangeburg-Wilkinson standout quarterback Woodrow Dantzler stands on the field and is recognized as a member of the Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame during the Tigers’ game against Louisiana-Monroe Saturday, he will also be standing at a crossroads in his life.
He could go back to playing with the Chicago Rush in the Arena Football League. Then again, he could leave his playing days behind and focus more on coaching, which he is doing with Tommy Brown at Fairfield Central. But, he could also focus on his budding Christian shirt business. Funny thing is, Thursday Dantzler still didn’t know what the immediate future held for him.
“I don’t know,” he said. “I really don’t know. There is just so much to do (in Orangeburg), and in order for me to do it, I feel like I need to be present here. I want to help out the best way I can.”
“I haven’t even thought about it,” he said. “People ask, but I don’t think about it. When I know … I’ll know.”
“No,” he said. “I don’t think so. I said I’ll never coach, but where God leads me I’ll lead the path that follows out for me.”
The shirt business?
“That was just something that came to me,” he said. “The Lord blessed me with the ideas to do these things. You have all the craziness, vulgarity and disrespect that people wear on their T-shirts … I just want to bring some positiveness back into the world and I want to do it through clothing.”
And, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Dantzler has a lot going on. In football, he’s spent the past two seasons playing wide receiver/defensive back for the Rush and coaching quarterbacks for Brown. There’s the shirt business, but there’s also the work he has planned for Orangeburg.
“I’m still trying to do some things with the rec. center,” he said. “I’m trying to do all I can to help out the city. We have the new city gym, and we are short on some money. We are trying to get that in, and there are also plans for a new baseball park. We just haven’t got that all going yet.
“In Orangeburg, there is nothing for the kids to do,” he continued. “So, they end up doing something crazy and getting in trouble. That’s why they get involved with gangs, and that’s why I am doing all I can to help restore vision to the youth of Orangeburg. Everybody talks about the situation, but nobody does anything.”
Dantzler earned the hall of fame recognition by putting together a memorable career with the Tigers. In 2001, he became the first quarterback in college football history to rush for over 1,000 yards and pass for over 2,000 yards in the same season. The same year he was first-team All-ACC. He finished his career with 6,037 passing yards and he rushed for another 2,761 yards to become the third quarterback in NCAA history to throw for 5,000 yards and rush for 2,500 yards.
But, with everything going on, Dantzler said he hasn’t thought about that, or his induction, all that much.
Tonight, he along with Khalil Greene, Kerry Robinson, Amy Geren, Lucas Glover, Terrell McIntrye, Nelson Welch and Lester Brown will be recognized at the official Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame banquet. Saturday, he will stand on the field at a crossroads.
“A guy like me, I know it is a big honor, but I am not into individual things,” Dantzler said. “I really don’t know how I feel about it. It’s a great honor to be recognized, and there are some great guys in the Hall of Fame. It’s a great honor, a great blessing and a great privilege.”