Athlete of the Week Q & A: DJ Woullard
Each week, BRSN sits down for a Q & A session with the BRSN Athlete of the Week. This week, we caught up with sophomore Cornell Football cornerback, DJ Woullard, following his outstanding two-interception performance in his first career start on Saturday, leading the Big Red to a 24-16 victory over Bucknell.
BRSN: DJ, thanks for taking the time to speak with us. You had a breakout performance with two crucial interceptions on Saturday that played key roles in shifting the momentum to the Big Red sideline. What was going through your mind on both of these plays, and how do you think it helped out the team?
DW: During these plays, I was thinking about my teammate, Sean Scullen, who, at the very beginning of the game, got a season ending injury. I was playing for him out there on the field. Before the game, we promised each other that we would both get interceptions and have an impact on the game. I was just trying to fulfill that promise. The two interceptions changed the momentum of the game and put our offense in the position to make plays on the field and put points on the board.
BRSN: This outstanding performance against Bucknell came in just your first ever career start. How did it feel to walk onto the field for the first defensive snap in this role as starting cornerback?
DW: I felt an immense deal of excitement for my first career start. I worked very hard all offseason and it felt good to prove why I earned my spot as starting cornerback on the field.
BRSN: How did it feel to snag the very first two interceptions of your career, and what does this mean to you personally?
DW: It felt great to get those interceptions, but things like that happen when you stick to the game plan, execute your job, and stay focused on your technique.
BRSN: With last weekend being your first career start and the success that you had, what specifically did you work on improving in the offseason to help get you to the point you’re at right now?
DW: I mainly focused on my role in the defense this offseason. My coaches, Travis Burkett and Jared Backus, have always been critiquing my technique since the beginning of spring football and are continuing to develop me into a great cornerback. Also, my teammates push each other everyday, so we all can excel on the field.
BRSN: What are you looking forward to the most for Homecoming this Saturday and your first start in front of the Cornell crowd?
DW: I’m looking forward to showing Cornell all the work my teammates and I have put into our offseason. This is a different Cornell football team than the previous years — we are more driven and determined to be great.
BRSN: What are some of your interests outside of football?
DW: Football is my life, honestly, with being a student-athlete at an Ivy League school and due to football’s demanding schedule, I don’t really have time for hobbies.
BRSN: What is one thing that most people don’t know about you that you would like to share with fans of Cornell and, more specifically, Big Red football?
DW: I come from a football-driven family. My father has been coaching me since I was five years old, and I have three other siblings that have strong ties to football. My oldest brother, Angelo Looney, earned a scholarship at Texas A&M Kingsville and was the first in the family to play college football. My older sister, Aeryn Woullard, was a cheerleader at first, but eventually switched her ambitions to become a dancer and has performed on shows like “So You Think You Can Dance” and competed internationally in dance competitions. My younger brother, Deavyn Woullard, is a sophomore in high school and is just starting his career as becoming a highly desired recruit for several college football teams. My mother and father raised us in a competitive environment, where they were always pushing us to compete with each other and to be the best we can be on and off the field.