UPLAND, Calif. – On Monday afternoon, sophomore athlete Jaiden Woodbey received some very good news when the UCLA football program extended a scholarship offer his way. This was an emotional moment for Woodbey as the Bruins offer was his first of likely many more to come.
“I almost cried when I got my offer,” Woodbey told Today’s U. “I teared up a little bit because all my hard work finally paid off.”
At 6’1” and 195-pounds, Woodbey has the frame and athleticism to play football at the next level, which was further compounded by the addition of his UCLA offer. Playing on both sides of the football, most schools view Woodbey as an athlete at this point and would like to see how he develops moving forward.
With an offer in hand, Woodbey’s recruitment is beginning to take off and the 2018 Upland standout spoke about the state of his collegiate interest thus far.
“UCLA is my first offer, so that’s been going pretty good,” Woodbey said. “I think Utah, I don’t know if they’re starting to recruit me or not, but two of the coaches follow me on Twitter. Michigan State follows me as well. It’s nothing big so far, but UCLA is the main school that has been recruiting me. USC started to recruit me two weeks ago.”
So far this season, Woodbey has impacted his team in numerous facets. According to the dynamic athlete, Woodbey has produced two touchdowns and 60 receiving yards off three catches, one rushing touchdown on his long carry, 24 tackles—15 of the solo variety—in addition to one forced fumble and one pass deflection.
“What I try and do is analyze the field,” Woodbey explained. “I take my progression in reading my keys, which are the tackles. I read the tackles. If they drive down low, then I know it’s a pass. If they stay in one place, then I know it’s going to be sort of a run. They sort of give me a heads up of what the play will be before it even starts. Then I just go from there.”
On a personal note, Woodbey says that his sophomore campaign is going fairly well, especially since he’s had time to recover from a slight injury suffered against Tesoro High School.
“It’s been going pretty good so far,” Woodbey said. “I got to play in four in a half of the last five games because week three I hurt myself. I injured myself catching a pass. My hips got knocked out of line, so I had to do a little bit of rehab before going into the Mater Dei game. Against Mater Dei, I was able to play, but I wasn’t 100%, but I still managed to get a couple of tackles. I’m fine now. It just took a couple weeks.”
As a whole, Upland is beginning to come together as a team as many players are now growing increasingly healthy. At this juncture, Upland sports a 3-2 record with Etiwanda on the docket for this Friday.
“We are starting to become more of a team as it goes along,” Woodbey said. “We had some injuries, but now everyone is starting to come back and we are getting that mojo back. I’m pretty sure we will win league this year. I am quite confident in my team.”
With an offer from UCLA now in hand, Woodbey plans to take a visit to the Bruins’ campus on October 22.
“I am going to the campus when they play Cal,” Woodbey said. “I’ve only been to the field so far. I haven’t gotten a view of the school yet.”
On that visit, Woodbey will focus on several areas as he determines if UCLA could be his future school.
“Just if it feels like home,” Woodbey said. “I’m coming from California, so I think I’ll like it since it’s in California. I’m still open to any school and I don’t have any favoritism right now.”
Click here for a link to Woodbey’s highlight tape.