Wolford brothers to visit BYU

This Friday, two brothers from Florida will fly out to BYU for an unofficial visit. Bishop Kenny High School linebacker Bobby Wolford and his quarterback brother John will at BYU this weekend to meet the coaches and learn more about what BYU has to offer.

John Wolford is only a sophomore-to-be, but don't tell him that. The Jacksonville, Florida native, who started for Bishop Kenny High School – a Catholic college preparatory school – has already received some notice from Division I programs.

"I was raised around football since I was six years old and I loved playing so much," John said. "I came into this school and was able to get the starting job, and it was a great experience."

The Bishop Kenny signal-caller attributes his success to a few key influences.

"There are a lot of things that contributed to me playing," John said. "My dad has been a great inspiration to me and he's worked hard all his life. Also, my uncle Will Wolford also played in the NFL for many years. He played left tackle for the Bills and he had three Pro Bowl selections and was on the team that lost the four straight Super Bowls. He doesn't like to talk about that much though."

Although he was only a freshman last season, John Wolford didn't play like one. The 6-foot-1-inch, 190-pound quarterback has the poise of an upperclassman, the arm strength of one ready to enter college, and the long-range accuracy of a Jimmer Fredette.

"I like to know what's going on and be able to read the defense to make plays," he said. "I like to have a mental aspect of the game and that's important to me. Physically, I would say that I have a very accurate and strong arm, and then on top of that I have mobility. I try and put them all together, and those are probably some of my strengths."

For his freshman debut at the varsity level last year, John Wolford threw for 1,751 yards and 17 touchdowns. He also rushed for 649 yards and eight touchdowns. He led Bishop Kenny to a 7-3 record, a district championship win and a playoff birth.

"We hadn't done that in 33 years," he said. "It was pretty exciting, and we'll have 18 returning starters for next year, so we should be pretty good."

Although still a year out from actually being able to receive scholarship offers, Wolford is hearing from quite a few programs.

"The number one school that's looked at me is probably Clemson," he said. "They've talked about giving me a [verbal] offer. They came down, liked my highlight film and like how I threw. I've been in contact with Arkansas, Mississippi State, and I'm going to BYU's summer camp this week with my brother Bob. BYU is looking at him too."

When John arrives in Provo, Utah, he wants to soak up the surroundings to get a feel for the environment.

"It's going to be new and I'm really looking forward to it," he said. "I want to see the campus and what it's going to be like. I want to see the type of people that are there that we'll meet. I basically just want to see what it's like up there and what they have to offer. I'm really looking forward to it.

"I've never been in the mountains before, so it will be a different environment I guess you can say. I know about BYU and what they're about. It's going to be fun and interesting to check out. I've followed the team, and although I don't have any direct connections to BYU, my brother is being recruited to go there. I know it's a Mormon school and a good school, and I wouldn't have any problems playing there."

John knows that to attend BYU, one has to not only be an outstanding football player, but possess high moral character as well.

"I know that off-field issues and character is just as important to them as being able to play football," Wolford said. "Having great character is just as important to receiving an offer."

A member of the Catholic faith, he is well aware of the school's emphasis on high standards.

"I don't have any problem with that at all," he said. "I'm not against it and would definitely not have any problems going to a school that expects you to live a higher standard. I don't have any problems with that."


Bobby Wolford

His brother Bobby Wolford, meanwhile, is a 6-foot-3-inch, 230-pound middle linebacker that will be a senior this year.

"Navy's offered him and Boston College is close to an offer, and he's a really smart kid and has offers from Princeton and Harvard as well," John said about Bobby. "His recruiting has picked up really well."

Coach Howell is recruiting Bobby and has been educating the Floridian on what BYU is all about both on and off the field.

"He's a very nice guy and you can tell he's really intelligent," Bob said about Howell. "He's recruiting me really hard. He told me quite a bit about BYU. He said it's a school that is owned by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and that you have to follow certain standards to go there. He said that you can't drink or do drugs, and that's something that I don't do anyways and is not a problem. I kind of have an idea of what it's like, and it's going to be interesting to see what it's like.

"We're heading out to BYU on Friday. It's going to be really interesting to see what BYU is like. They said they don't offer anyone until they actually come out and experience campus because it's a different atmosphere out there. I'm really excited to see what it's like."

Like his brother, Bobby is anxious to see what BYU's environment is like.

"First and foremost, I want to see the atmosphere of the football team," said Bobby. "I want to see what BYU is about academically. Then after that I want to see what the lifestyle is like. I've never been out to Utah before in my life, so I want to see what it's like in Provo and all over the campus. I know it's going to be different and just want to see what it's like. We're going to be up there for two days and I'm really looking forward to visiting BYU."

Bobby said he finds that aspect of BYU very attractive "because I'm a very devout Catholic. I like the fact that BYU expects you to live a moral life and all that. I find that very interesting because not many colleges expect that of you. I kind of like it actually."

"He loves that and really likes that kind of stuff," said John. "He really likes those colleges that have special or unique things about them."

As a junior, Bobby played on both sides of the ball. He's being recruited by BYU as a middle linebacker, and fared very well last year in a tough Florida league. Bishop Kenny is the largest private Catholic school in Jacksonville and plays the bigger schools in the area.

"I had 108 tackles and three sacks," Bobby said. "I also had two interception, three fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles. I also started as fullback for my team this past year and I'm starting at tight end this year too, so I'm a two-way player for my team."

Playing together at the college level would be a great opportunity for the Wolford brothers.

"That would be really cool," said John. "Where my brother Bob goes will probably have some influence on me. It would be cool to experience college with him and continue a kind of family tradition."


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