CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. – Virginia junior student-athlete Jay Woolfolk announced today that he will concentrate on the sport of baseball and will no longer participate as a member of the Virginia football program. Since enrolling at UVA in the fall of 2021, Woolfolk has played both sports for the Cavaliers.
“Coach (Tony) Elliott has done so much for me starting with his first day on Grounds,” Woolfolk said. “His ways of teaching how, not only to be a player, but how to be a man, will always stick with me. It’s been an amazing year with him. I’ve reached a point where at this time it’s best for me to focus on my future in the sport of baseball.
“I wish the very best to the football program and my teammates. You could not ask to be part of a better group of individuals. I’ll always be their biggest supporter.”
For the Virginia football team, Woolfolk appeared in nine games over the past two seasons. Against No. 7 Notre Dame in 2021, he became the first true freshman quarterback to start a game for UVA since 1977. He accounted for 245 yards passing and 104 yards rushing in a Cavalier football uniform.
“It’s been a been a pleasure and an honor to work with Jay (Woolfolk) over the last year and a half from a football perspective,” head football coach Tony Elliott said. “He’s an extremely-talented young man with a skill set in both sports. At this point in his career, he believes he needs to make a decision long term and unfortunately for us, it’s not going to involve football. I fully support and respect his decision. He desires to go chase that dream and play Major League Baseball and I don’t fault him for it.
“I know his teammates are going to be excited, but also disappointed a little bit because we were looking forward to what he was going to bring to Virginia football. In the end, when a young man has been thoughtful about the process, when he’s done everything the right way, you can do nothing but support him. Jay will always be a member of Virginia football. We’ll be his biggest fans come next baseball season. I’m sure that he’ll be rooting hard for us as we go through fall camp and prepare for the season. I love Jay Woolfolk and I wish him all the best. I can’t wait to see him finish out strong with Coach (Brian) O’Connor and the baseball team and then go chase that dream of playing in Major League Baseball.”
On the baseball diamond, Woolfolk has led the Virginia pitching staff in relief appearances the past two seasons. He was a 2022 freshman All-American according to Collegiate Baseball Newspaper and D1Baseball.com. In 59 career appearances he boasts a 2.89 ERA with 93 strikeouts in 71.2 innings pitched. He saved nine games for the Cavaliers’ 2023 College World Series team, fourth-most in the ACC. This summer, he was selected to play on the 31-man USA Baseball Collegiate National Team, the 15th Cavalier in program history to play for the red, white and blue.