WINGSPAN

  • Gary Burns 5K & Fun Run is Oct. 27 at Toyota Stadium

  • Board of Trustees calls for TRE and Bond Election to be on Nov. ballot

From the Redhawks to the Eagles, Ajayi soars to the Super Bowl

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






provided by Legacy yearbook
Breaking free was a common sight when Ajayi was a running back for the Redhawks. In his senior year of high school, Ajayi ran for more than 2,000 yards and 30 touchdowns.

In the heart of Cowboys country, the Philadelphia Eagles have an unusually large fanbase on campus with 2011 graduate Jay Ajayi taking the field as the starting running back for the Eagles in Super Bowl LII on Sunday.

“I was very happy and ecstatic knowing what just happened,” mother Kemi Ajayi said. “I know that it was a dream come true for him to be in that position to play football and the Super Bowl.”

In addition to playing soccer as a youth and continuing into his first years in high school, Ajayi was also part of the school’s 4×400 district championship relay team in his senior year.

Joining his parents to make the trip north to Minneapolis to see Ajayi play is his sister, sophomore Sarah Ajayi.

“It’s really exciting to be able to go see his games a lot,” Sarah said. “It’s something that I know he’s really passionate about so I like being able to go and support him in any way I could. Him making the Super Bowl, it’s crazy.”

After making NFL history as only the fourth player to rush for 200+ yards in back to back games in October of 2016, his Super Bowl appearance once again helps put Frisco high school football on the map.

Making a national name for himself in the NFL, Ajayi has left a lasting impact on those who knew him in high school, including the coach of his first sport: soccer.

“He was kind of like a giraffe on roller skates for a little while there,” boys’ head soccer coach Fred Kaiser said. “He had all of the tools but he was still growing into his body. Junior year he started physically developing and growing into his body by senior year he was a beast.”

On and off the field, Ajayi was someone that almost everyone on campus knew.

“Jay was the most determined player, he refused to be tackled by on guy, he made it so that if you tackled him you wouldn’t want to again,” defensive coordinator Brandon Gonzales. “But the moment he stepped off the field he was the most big smiled guy, just loving life and funny.”

Filling out to 6’ and 220 lbs, Ajayi attended Boise State out of high school making the dream of the NFL closer to a reality.

Jay was the most determined player, he refused to be tackled by on guy, he made it so that if you tackled him you wouldn’t want to again,”

— defensive coordinator Brandon Gonzales

“I started playing because my friends were playing and they wanted me to join because I was a natural at it,” Ajayi said in an interview with Wingspan in October 2016. “I started thinking [the NFL] would be possible when I was at Boise State.”

While everyone wanted him to make it big, there was some skepticism as just 1.5 percent of high school seniors make it to the NFL.

“In about his junior year at Boise State,” Gonzales said. “I started thinking that maybe there is a chance for him. He was, and is still by far the best high school football player I’ve ever coached.”

Transitioning from high school football to college football was different, but his mom believes it was all with a purpose.

“I believe this is God’s plan for his life,” Kemi said. “He was part of a special group of football players that finished the season 12-1 in 2010. He also had a great college football career. He has always been self driven and self motivated. It truly is a blessing to see his hard work pay off.”

Ajayi is the only player in college football history to rush for more than 1,800 yards and rack up more than 500 receiving yards in the same season. In 2015 he was drafted in the 5th round by the Miami Dolphins.

provided by Legacy yearbook
One of the top teams in the Dallas area his senior year, Ajayi led the Redhawks to an undefeated season before the team finally lost in the third round of the playoffs to finish 12-1, the best record in school history.

“It’s crazy because from where he came from in college and on the Dolphins and then to be traded to the Eagles and then all the sudden he’s at the Super Bowl just happened really fast,” Sarah said. “I’m just really proud of everything he’s been able to accomplish and that my family and I are going to be able to support him.”

Born in London as the oldest of five siblings, Ajayi comes from a large family that provides him with a lot of support when it comes to his football career.

“We are a close knit family and very much involved in our children’s lives,” Kemi said. “His younger brother, Solomon also plays football at Liberty University in Virginia. The whole family went to watch Jay play in London last year. We will also be there at the Super Bowl to cheer him and the Eagles to victory.”

Making it to the Super Bowl isn’t an easy feat, but Ajayi has never backed down from a challenge.

“It’s not easy,” Ajayi said in an interview with Wingspan in October 2016. “The path comes with ups and downs but stay determined. Stay focused and don’t cheat the grind.”

About the Writer
Keegan Williams, Editor-in-Chief
Keegan ‘KEEG$’ Williams, is a senior and Editor-in-Chief for Wingspan. She likes to partake in many activities such as watching Youtube and talking loudly. She also enjoys juggling, playing with her black lab, and pretending she can rap. KEEG$ is never seen without a water bottle, and loves hanging out with friends. KEEG$ is an icon throughout...
Leave a Comment

Wingspan intends for this area to be used to foster healthy, thought-provoking discussion. Comments are expected to adhere to our standards and to be respectful and constructive. As such, we do not permit the use of profanity, foul language, personal attacks, or the use of language that might be interpreted as libelous. Comments are reviewed and must be approved by a moderator to ensure that they meet these standards. Wingspan does not allow anonymous comments and requires the person's first and last name along with a valid email address. The email address will not be displayed but will be used to confirm your comments. To see our full Comment Policy, visit libertywingspan.com/about/

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a gravatar.




Navigate Right
Navigate Left
  • From the Redhawks to the Eagles, Ajayi soars to the Super Bowl

    In Case You Missed It

    Red River rivals united by softball

  • From the Redhawks to the Eagles, Ajayi soars to the Super Bowl

    Campus Life

    Anderson’s oddities

  • From the Redhawks to the Eagles, Ajayi soars to the Super Bowl

    Editorial

    Editorial: Social studies changes perform a disservice to students

  • From the Redhawks to the Eagles, Ajayi soars to the Super Bowl

    Campus Life

    Classroom meets comfort

  • From the Redhawks to the Eagles, Ajayi soars to the Super Bowl

    In Case You Missed It

    Recycled materials help solve veteran housing crisis

  • From the Redhawks to the Eagles, Ajayi soars to the Super Bowl

    In Case You Missed It

    Parks reaches pinnacle of U.S. soccer

  • From the Redhawks to the Eagles, Ajayi soars to the Super Bowl

    In Case You Missed It

    Students join forces for national school walkout

  • From the Redhawks to the Eagles, Ajayi soars to the Super Bowl

    In Case You Missed It

    Josie’s journey

  • From the Redhawks to the Eagles, Ajayi soars to the Super Bowl

    In Case You Missed It

    A night to remember

  • From the Redhawks to the Eagles, Ajayi soars to the Super Bowl

    In Case You Missed It

    Mock accident designed to prevent the reality of Shattered Dreams

The student news site of Liberty High School in Frisco, Texas
From the Redhawks to the Eagles, Ajayi soars to the Super Bowl