Santa Clarita (Calif.) College of the Canyons outside linebacker Jake Woolley has been working hard to earn an offer to continue his football career beyond the upcoming season. The 6-foot-3 recruit was finally able to make the call he had been waiting for Thursday afternoon, but on the other end was an unexpected program.
Like it has done so many times previously this spring, Arizona was the first school to extend an offer to Woolley.
"It was actually really surprising, because I haven't been in contact with them at all," he said. "And out of nowhere my coach said to the call the coach from Arizona. I did and they offered, so I'm just really excited."
The Wildcats added three linebackers this week for the 2013 class, but it is also a position of need with the recent departure of senior Brian Wagner. Woolley said he talked about the possibility of stepping into a role early on at UA with the staff.
"They told me the whole scenario about what's happening down there," Woolley said. "They said they are really thin at that position, and they think I could be a really good leader for the team on the defensive side since I'm coming from a junior college."
Outside of what he discussed with the coaching staff, Woolley doesn't know too much about the Wildcats' football program. However, he has heard good things about UA as a school.
"I don't know about it too much," he said. "But I actually have some friends that I used to play baseball with who go there, and I hear nothing but great things about the atmosphere and campus life. I hear that it's a great place in a great area.
"I haven't really heard too much about the football team, but I've heard the campus life is amazing. So that's a big kicker for me."
The 210 pounder has played two different linebacker positions in the past, but there is one spot where he thinks he would be most effective.
"I've played outside and middle," he said. "To play the middle spot, I feel like I'd have to gain a little more weight. But outside is where I really want to play and think I can excel at, because my speed and quickness really translates to the field in that spot."
Woolley said speed and quickness are a big part of his game, and he thinks those skills can help a program at the next level.
"Pretty much I play the game fast all the time," he said. "I play sideline to sideline, I play fast and I'm hitting everything that's moving, and I really just want to rip people's heads off when I'm out there.
"At the same time you have to play with some control to stick with the game plan, and stay within that to play as a team on defense and be successful."
The recruiting process is still so new to Woolley that he's still not 100 percent sure what he wants to see in his eventual landing spot, but he does know that academics will play a part.
"Wherever I go I'm going to go in there with an open heart and work my butt off all the time," Woolley said. "I'm going to work at my degree also and get a good education. I have a shorter amount of time compared to the people coming out of high school, but I'm definitely going to make the most of it."
Woolley has also been hearing from Texas Tech, Arkansas and USC the most he said. But with just one offer under his belt, the linebacker isn't quite ready to pull the trigger on a commitment just yet.
"It's my first offer, so I don't really know what to do right now," he said. "I'm just seeing how it goes, and I'm talking with my parents and my coaches. I really want to visit the schools, because I want to get a good feel of the place I'm going to go.
"Really right now I don't have a timetable, I'm just trying to get a feel for everything because it is so new to me. I'm keeping my options open."
One thing the former Moorpark, Calif., standout does know is that his first offer has motivated him to continue to work hard in preparation for his upcoming season.
"That offer is such a motivation," Woolley said. "It makes you want to go that much harder and work that much harder in the classroom. The main thing is that it's motivation. When you have nothing, you work so hard everyday.
"To finally see that it's paying off just makes you want to go that much harder."