Jay Ajayi stands poised to become one the best running backs in Boise State history.
He has an incredible combination of speed and power, but those in themselves do not a great running back make.
He has that “Did you see that!” factor in his style that is seen in few runners.
When Ajayi is hit or wrapped up he twists and fights his way loose. Some runners try to run out of a tackle or through it, Ajayi fights his way out like a guy trying to wiggle out of a pair of skinny-jeans.
He defies what 99% of the other runners do when being tackled. Some runners see only a yard or two after being hit, Ajayi sees twenty yards. When most runners are slowed down they expect another wave of tacklers to join in. Not so with Ajayi. When tackled he acts like the guy hanging on is the only thing between him and the end zone.
The ability to keep his legs moving after a hit reminds me of Doug Martin.
There is one thing that troubles me, his style of twisting and turning exposes the ball. At times the ball is away from his body. That’s not good. He must learn to tuck the ball into his ribs tight so that a pry bar or the jaws-of-life couldn’t separate him from the ball.
I watched some high school videos where it looked like he used the ball to fake out a tackler like a point guard might do in basketball. I hope we don’t see that when Boise is trying to grind it out and run down the clock with a one point lead. I see fumble in a crucial situation.
But you know what? If he doesn’t fumble the ball and continues running at near seven yards a pop he can wave the ball around in his arms like a shyster used car salesman under quota.