Selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Miami Dolphins, running back Jay Ajayi may end up being the steal of the draft if his physical college tape can translate into the NFL. Watching him run through tacklers and break free in the open field, one may think that he has been working on perfecting his craft for the vast majority of life.
To much surprise though, that is hardly the case as Ajayi’s path to the NFL isn’t like many others. He moved to the United States of America in 2000 from London. In 2003, he started playing football because his friend was playing as well. Being an active kid, he always wanted to be moving. Eventually, he grew a love for the game and wasn’t able to ever let go. In fact, he loved it so much that he gave up his first love, which was soccer.
“I love soccer. That was my first sport that I played. I had played until my junior year in high school where I had a decision to make whether I was going to go chase soccer or going to chase football. I chose football. I fell in love with the game. I’m not mad at that decision. I’m extremely happy to be at this point in my life today.”
With that said, Ajayi’s decision to stick with football had more to do with the fact of him settling in the United States than it did for the pure love of the game. However, don’t mistake that for Ajayi not loving the sport – he certainly does and being drafted into the NFL validates his decision even more.
“It was just that if I wanted to go professional in soccer I was probably going to have to probably move out of the States again. I wasn’t ready to have another big decision in my life, another big change in my life. I wasn’t ready to make that decision. I believed that I would be able to make it in football, and I have, so I’m excited.”
Ajayi will have a chance to validate his decision even more as he is expected to have a big role in the Dolphins offense this coming season. If he can continue to work on his craft and strive to be the best, he’ll have no problem succeeding in the NFL.
This story was written by Matthew Cannata. Follow him on Twitter: @PhinManiacs
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