What is your full name?
Ryan Matthew Woolfolk
You're from Atlanta, had you lived there all your life?
Do you have any siblings?
I have an older brother and a younger brother.
Do they play football?
My older brother played football and baseball and my younger brother was a football player. My older brother played baseball at Morehouse College and my younger brother is still in high school.
What interests outside of sports did you have in high
I wanted to be a scientist. I actually wasn't very good at sports when I was little; I was pretty good at baseball, but, generally, I was nerdy. I used to go to summer camps for science.
Any particular branch of science?
I had asthma really bad, so I kind of wanted to be a doctor and do pulmonology.
When did you start playing football?
I played a little bit when I was young and then I didn't start playing again until my sophomore year of high school.
Why did you stop?
It's a funny story. [Current Carolina Panther QB] Cam Newton actually hit me once when I was a little kid and I never played football again until I was a lot bigger because I was always one of the smallest kids. He was huge.
Did he go to your high school?
No-he went to my neighborhood high school but I went to a private school. We played Little League together.
What other positions have you played besides wide
I came in here as a running back. Then I played cornerback for a season and now I'm back to wide receiver. I played quarterback in high school a little bit.
What was your high school like?
We were pretty good. My senior year was the first year we had varsity football. We were average but there were only 94 people in my graduating class so it was a pretty small school. There were only about 30 guys on the football team.
What other sports did you play?
I played baseball in high school. I was on a state championship team with Sean Aiken, who goes here. He's a catcher. I played centerfield.
What other activities did you do in high school besides
I was all over the place. I was in People's Club that was a club to promote diversity. I dabbled in debate a little bit. I kind of did a lot of stuff in high school. I did track too.
When did you first hear about William and Mary?
Sean Aiken's dad came to me during football season my junior year. I was playing JV then because my high school didn't have a varsity team. Sean's dad, D.C. Aiken, who went here too, basically thought William and Mary would be a good fit.
What other schools were you looking at?
I actually ran track and had pretty good numbers and my coaches were active about trying to get my tapes out. So I had some pretty good schools. Vanderbilt, Tulane, Morehouse, here and I was thinking about walking on in Georgia Tech.
Were you always sure you wanted to play football or did
you ever think about baseball?
Honestly, I always wanted to baseball, but I just kind of got burnt out with it by the time I was a senior. With summer ball and high school I was playing almost 100 games a year and I just got sick of it. I lost that passion for the game.
How would you relate the skills sets you use in football
For me they're pretty similar. I've always thought of myself as a speed guy who is pretty versatile and that's kind of the same as football.
What were your first impressions of the team?
People were a lot more skilled than I thought. I came in kind of cocky, with a chip on my shoulder like, "I didn't play a lot in high school but I know I could have played at a really big school I just didn't have the opportunity." I got here and for anything that people were lacking physically, just knowing about football and how to play the game was completely shocking. It completely changed.
Freshman year you were on the scout team. What was that like?
It was a fun experience. Scout team you just learn as much as you can. I felt pretty confident after being on scout team that I would contribute and I was good enough to play after having doubts initially. I just learned. That whole freshman year is about you as an individual.
What older players did you look up to on the team?
There were a lot of guys here. Courtland Marriner and DeBrien Holmes were here. Courtland, I always admired because he was just so fast and I thought of myself as a speed guy like that but he was also powerful. DeBrien was kind of slashy. I looked at those guys and wanted to be a combination of them.
Redshirt freshman year you appeared in eight games but
only touched the ball in the N.C. State game.
Was that frustrating?
Yeah it was really frustrating. Courtland and Brian both got hurt so I actually went into the N.C. State game second on the depth chart. I had this crazy nervous fumbling issue and it came down either me or Grimes was going to play at N.C. State and I kept fumbling. I kept fumbling because I would get nervous about playing. Then Grimes got in and I guess that's all she wrote.
Sophomore year, you made a bit of a switch to special
Yeah. I wanted to play and I felt like the coaches thought I should be playing just because of my athletic ability. I got really dedicated into kickoffs and kick returns. Grimes would be back deep and I was on that second row. I knew I wanted to be in the game so I could travel. I've traveled-knock on wood-every game since my redshirt freshman year. A big part of that was just I knew I wasn't going to play because I was third at every position or behind someone like Grimes so I took that as my role on the team.
Was it like learning a whole new position?
No, special teams is all about effort. You have to want to be out there and take pride in it.
Your junior year, what led you to move back to the
offense as a wide receiver?
Coach Laycock met with me after the year I played cornerback and he asked me. I said I didn't really want to play defense and I thought I could help out the offense.
Had you played wide receiver at all in high school?
No. I just knew I would try really hard and I had the skill set.
You put up some pretty big numbers. Would you consider that a breakout year?
I was still playing behind Chase Hill. But my kick returning, which was really what I wanted to do for a while. I wanted to get back as the deep guy I got the opportunity to do that and I thought I broke out as a dynamic kick returner. Grimes got hurt in the UNC game and then I had a couple good kick returns so they let me do it for the rest of the year pretty much.
Who do you think you are closest with on the team?
It's three guys. Meltoya Jones, a backup running back, Grimes, he's a great guy. He replaced me but I've become really good friends with him. And Levi Cohen, who is a redshirt freshman.
Do you have any musical talent?
No-I mean and I can kind of hold a note. I like to freestyle with the other guys but we're all just joking around. Grimes and Mel are the only ones who actually have musical talent.
What do you consider the strengths of your game?
I just think I'm versatile and I adapt to any situation.
What is your favorite NFL team?
The Atlanta Falcons, but right now, Mike Vick and the Eagles have my heart.
What NFL player do you try to emulate?
I still think of myself as a running back in a lot of ways so I'll say Chris Johnson of the Titans.
What has been your most memorable game?
Last year when we played JMU. I was the deep down kick returner. We kind of did some stuff to help me have some good returns and I caught some passes too. That was a huge turning point for me as far as feeling like a receiver and feeling like I had a definite spot and legitimate role on the team.
Are you involved in anything else at the college?
I am in a service fraternity called Sigma Nu Sigma. I am currently the only active member so I am president, treasurer, and everything else. Right now it's all about recruitment but I got Jon Grimes, Mel and all of them to join that service fraternity. On campus, they had events like social gatherings to get freshman oriented and other philanthropy projects.
You are a kinesiology major with a minor in anthropology. What do you want to do after graduation?
I'm kind of at a crossroads. I think I want to go back and work in some sort of school setting. If I can instill a passion for sports in someone so they can stick with it and pursue it. I think right now I'm leaning towards coaching, but maybe in a school environment where I am maybe teaching elementary school and coaching high school kids at a private school. Right now I feel like I didn't really love football when I came to college I just knew I was good at it but I feel like now I've grown to love it as a game and I want to bring that to someone else.
Fired Up. It's probably the movie that I've seen the most. It's a movie about these guys that quit a football team and become cheerleaders.
The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom. I think he actually writes for ESPN now.
Favorite TV Show?
I'd have to say True Blood.
Pretty much anything by J Cole.