Why Jordan Woolery Chose UCLA
A top recruit in the class of 2022, Jordan Woolery committed to UCLA as just an eighth grader. Woolery, who plays both shortstop and third base, walked into her first day of high school already knowing where she would be attending college.
Throughout her high school career playing for both Clayton Valley Charter High School in Concord, Calif. and the Athletics Mercado travel organization, Woolery proved exactly why she was able to commit to a university with high-level academics and athletics at such a young age.
With career totals such as a .614 batting average, 113 hits, 21 home runs and a fielding percentage of .930, Woolery established herself as a star on both her high school and travel teams.
Softball America had the chance to catch up with Woolery to learn about her recruiting process and softball career thus far.
Softball America: How long have you been playing softball and when did you realize it was something you wanted to stick with?
Jordan Woolery: I have been playing softball since I was four or five years old. In sixth grade was when I realized that I was actually pretty good and that I could actually play in college. I was starting to get a lot of interest from some schools too, so I realized that it was actually possible. Then my team was getting a little better and we were playing against better teams and getting more exposure.
SA: You first committed to UCLA as an eighth grader. What was your recruiting process like and what made you decide to commit so young?
JW: I went on visits to a few other schools before I went to UCLA, and I liked all the schools, but once I went to UCLA, I just fell in love when I was on campus. And the coaches just made me feel so wanted, and I think it was just the best place for me.
SA: How did it feel knowing where you would go to college before you even began your freshman year?
JW: It was more fun, honestly, because on campus I was a little more known and stuff like that, so it helped me meet new people because people were so interested in me being committed.
SA: What ultimately led you to choose UCLA?
JW: Once I stepped on campus, I knew it was the place for me. I kind of just got a feeling compared to the other schools I went to and I just knew.
SA: In what ways do you think being a dual-sport athlete, playing both basketball and softball, has impacted you and shaped you as an athlete?
JW: I, for sure, think it makes me more well-rounded because in basketball it was a complete 180 from softball. It's so different. I think basketball makes me a better softball player. Also, coming from being a higher-level softball player to a sport I’m not super strong at, it helped me with my leadership skills in different ways I think, too.
SA: How do you think your high school and travel softball experiences prepared you to play at the Division I level?
JW: Definitely with my Mercado team, I am beyond prepared, I feel like. Because of the teams we play and the coaches and how they coach us, I think this has been the best place for me to get ready for college and UCLA.
SA: As you continue both your athletic and academic career at UCLA, what are you most looking forward to?
JW: Athletic-wise, I am looking forward to trying to win a national championship. Academics-wise, I think once I graduate I'll be able to get a job wherever I choose to because of my UCLA degree.
SA: What has been the most influential factor for you during your softball career thus far?
JW: I think seeing the game grow has really helped me want to play more and be a part of growing the game too because I see that it's possible and that you can play on TV. Girls are actually making money playing the sport now, so I think seeing that all happen as I've grown up has really helped me be excited for the future of softball.
SA: What advice do you have for youth softball players currently hoping to get recruited?
JW: I would say definitely just know that there is a school out there for you. Everyone will find their place. Even if you are kind of stuck not finding a school, and you don't feel like you are getting the looks you should, just trust the process and make sure you are reaching out to schools.