Adonijah 'A.J.' Wooten doesn’t know how UCF linebackers coach Tyson Summers came across him. The Nashville (Ga.) Berrian High defensive end only knows he’s happy he did.
“No clue, I was on Facebook one day and he just popped me a message saying, ‘Come down for junior day,’ and that's how it got started,” said Wooten, a 6-foot-6, 230-pounder who committed to UCF this week, the Knights seventh commitment in a whirlwind 10-day span that now has their 2014 recruiting class at eight members.
Wooten, like most Georgia kids, grew up a fan of the Georgia Bulldogs, but should the ‘Dawgs come knocking, he said it won’t matter. He intends to sign with UCF come Feb. 5, 2014, National Singing Day.
“Without a doubt,” Wooten said. “I’m staying with UCF.”
Wooten, who also plays basketball at Berrien High and was named second-team all-region last season after averaging 12 points per game, has only one other scholarship offer from FCS member school Liberty. He said he has been getting other interest, however, from Duke, Miami, Vanderbilt and Georgia.
He plans to attend a Georgia day camp later this summer.
Wooten will either play defensive end or defensive tackle at UCF, depending on how he progresses. He said he likes playing tackle, but his experience is on the end. He also plays a offensive line at Berrien, as can be seen in his NCSA highlight video above.
“I haven't played [defensive] tackle since middle school but in that time period I like being a tackle more because I always made the play,” said Wooten, who has 4.9-second speed in the 40-yard dash.
He describes himself as a player who, “hustles … I always try to go hard on the field and do my best.”
And it appears that his best years are ahead of him as he continues to develop.
“It feels great,” Wooten said of knowing he’ll be headed to college to play football, “but I’m going to stay humble and keep working hard every day because I know it can slip away.”
He also described his commitment as a “truck load” of relief removed from his shoulders.
“I don't have to be stressed or panicking now,” he said. “I can now just relax and go out and do my thing.”
Chris Hays is the Sentinel's recruiting coverage coordinator and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Twitter at @Os_Recruiting and Facebook at Orlando Sentinel Recruiting and now on Pinterest at Orlando Recruiting.