Growing up in Colorado, Jordan Woolverton has often dreamed of playing college football in Boulder.
When the opportunity came to him last week, he was thrilled.
A 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior quarterback at Durango High School, Woolverton was recently offered a chance to become a preferred walk-on with the Colorado Buffaloes next season.
“It’s super exciting,” Woolverton said. “(Coming from) a 3A school down here in the corner of Colorado, even to get that interest as a PWO from such a great school such as CU, it’s a real blessing.”
Woolverton has five scholarship offers from Division II schools, including CSU-Pueblo, but hasn’t been on the radar of Football Bowl Subdivision schools. The coronavirus pandemic prevented him from showcasing his skills at camps or on recruiting visits this spring and summer.
“For the 2021 class, there’s a lot of guys, especially here in Colorado, who are still out there trying to prove themselves to receive that scholarship offer they want from whatever school they want,” he said. “It hurt a lot that we weren’t able to get in front of coaches at these camps and go on these junior day visits and really put ourselves in front of them and show them what we really can do out there on the field.”
That didn’t stop Woolverton from working, though.
“I used the time in quarantine as a very helpful time to focus in on some things and really better myself as a football player, as well,” he said, adding that he sharpened his throwing motion, studied the game and learned more about reading defenses.
All the work has paid off when CU quarterbacks coach Danny Langsdorf noticed his film.
Woolverton, who has completed 72.1 percent of his passes for 4,525 yards and 47 touchdowns, with only seven interceptions, in three seasons at Durango, got a message on Twitter one day from Langsdorft.
“Then, it was just casual back and forth,” he said. “He called me (last week) and gave me the PWO offer.
“It’s been my dream to play at a Power 5 school and go to a place such as CU.”
CU already has a scholarship waiting for a class of 2021 quarterback (Drew Carter of Portland, Ore.), and the Buffs’ class is nearly full, so there wasn’t a scholarship available to Woolverton. He is an intriguing prospect, however.
In 2019, Woolverton led Durango to an 8-4 record and trip to the Class 3A quarterfinals. He completed 73.6 percent of his passes (128-of-174) for 1,941 yards, 23 touchdowns and three interceptions. He also ran for 1,005 yards and 15 touchdowns, averaging 9.7 yards per carry; recorded 35 tackles and three interceptions on defense; averaged 40.7 yards on 11 punts; and made 15-of-20 extra point kicks.
Woolverton also averaged 11.5 points and 4.9 rebounds for the Demons’ basketball team last winter.
Woolverton, who will graduate in December and enroll at a college in January, said he’s still mulling his options and figuring out what’s best for him, but the opportunity from CU will be tough to pass.
“I love CU,” he said. “It’s been a dream to play there. I’m very excited to be able to receive that and have the opportunity to maybe go up there and prove myself.”
But first, he’s got unfinished business at Durango, which opens its season next week.
“I’m going in with one common goal with my team here at Durango and that’s to win a state championship,” he said. “I’m ready to play my last season with these guys I’ve been playing with since third grade.”
3-star OL looking out of state
One player who likely won’t suit up at CU is Connor Jones, 6-foot-7, 285-pound tackle from Palmer Ridge High School.
A three-star prospect in the class of 2022, according to 247Sports.com, Jones, has six scholarship offers, including from Michigan, Indiana, Northwestern, Virginia and Colorado State. Jones hasn’t been able to attract much attention from CU, however, and said he’s likely to play for an out-of-state school.
“(CU) is missing a lot of boxes I want to be checked,” he said. “They don’t have the degree plan I want to go into and the interest level … I need to know they’re interested and they’re ready to go and part of that is the offer. The colleges have a board (of top recruits). Something that a lot of recruits I don’t think understand is we have to have a board, too.”
CU doesn’t appear to be on Jones’ board, but he’s currently rated the No. 7 in-state prospect for 2022 by 247Sports.
“My goal (this fall) is to produce the best film I can possibly produce,” he said. “We’re going to push it to every school that’s interested and every school I want to go to. I’m so pumped to start the season. Physically I feel great and mentally I’m ready to go.”
CU offensive lineman Heston Paige will not play this season and has elected to forego his final two seasons of eligibility and focus on completing his education. A fourth-year junior from ThunderRidge High School, Paige played in two games and dressed for 10 during his career with the Buffs. He was named to the Pac-12 Academic Honor Roll in 2019.