RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Rutherford native and former Don Bosco Prep standout Corey Wootton announced his retirement from the National Football League, ending a six-year career in which he played for three teams.
Wootton, who now lives in Chicago, cited a desire to spend more time with his family. He and his wife, Felicia, have a one-year-old daughter. Felicia is a former basketball standout at DePaul University.
Wootton played for Chicago, Minnesota and Detroit during his career. He was drafted in the fourth round by the Bears out of Northwestern University in 2010. He signed with the Lions last year, but never played a regular season game with them. He torn a pectoral muscle in the final preseason game and missed the entire season.
"I am officially retiring from the NFL,'' Wootton said on his Facebook page. "I want to thank the Chicago Bears organization for drafting me and allowing my NFL career to become a reality. I'm thankful for my time with the Vikings and Lions organizations. I have been extremely blessed to play in the NFL for 6 years. I was able to live out my childhood dream. Throughout my time in the NFL I was fortunate to work with some great coaches and players. My main focus in life now is putting my family first, and spending as much time as I can with them. My most important goal is to be the best husband and father I can be. I am extremely excited for my next chapter in life. I want to thank my family, friends, my agent, and the fans for always supporting me throughout my career. Looking forward to what's in store next. "
Wootton enjoyed two particularly memorable moments on the field. He recorded his first career sack in 2010 with the Lions when he tackled Minnesota Brett Favre, forcing the NFL legend out of the game with a concussion. Favre missed the final two games of the season with a concussion. Favre did not play again in the NFL.
In a 2012 game against Tennessee, Wootton returned a blocked punt for a touchdown. His former teammate, Sherrick McManis, blocked the punt.
Wootton started 15 games in 2013, when he had 34 tackles and three sacks. He had seven sacks in 2013 with the Bears, when he started seven games and had 27 tackles.
Wootton was one of the stars of a Don Bosco team that was ranked No. 2 in the national by USA Today in a national pool in 2003. As a senior, he he registered 62 tackles, five sacks and a defensive touchdown in 2004. He had nine tackles, two pass deflections and a defensive touchdown in a win over rival Bergen Catholic in his senior year. Bosco won two state titles during Wootton’s career.
He flourished at Northwestern. After missing a year with a medical hardship in 2005, he was a Freshman All-American selection in 2006 by the Football Writers Association of America. He was Northwestern’s MVP in 2008.
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