Thursday, November 26, 2020

Alberta’s Ajou Ajou making a football name for himself in NCAA ranks


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“It’s kind of like Brooks in a sense — it takes a village to raise a child the way they help me and make sure I’m good.”

So you see, Alberta, there’s no need to worry.

The 18-year-old receiver with mighty good hands is in mighty good hands way down south.

“It’s crazy, for sure,” Ajou said. “Coming from Brooks, there’s nothing like it. I’m just super-thankful. You can’t really ask for much more than this. They push you to your limits — they want the best out of you, but they’re going to treat you right.

“And they really put school first — put the student before the athlete. I really like it here.”

The feeling is mutual.

Dabo Swinney, the high-profile head coach of Clemson, has no problem talking up Ajou when he gets the chance.

In fact, the affable football guru effuses about him.

“O Canada — we really have gone international!” Swinney excitedly told reporters last week. “He’s going to be an unbelievable player.

“What I love about Ajou is his self-awareness. Because he’s this uber-talented guy, but he knows that he has so much to learn, and he’s not afraid of that. He’s not embarrassed by that. He’s not too cool for school.

“He’s a very unique guy — I really have not had a guy like Ajou here.”

Swinney went on, praising Ajou’s spirit for the game and his work ethic.

The coach also loves the toughness in him that comes from “playing in three feet of snow.

“He loves football, and you’ve gotta love football to play in three feet of snow when that’s your norm,” Swinney told reporters. “He’s (6-foot-4), 220 lb., but he can run — you don’t realize how fast he is because he’s so gangly. He’s got incredible ball skills. And he’s had a couple of moments, but the game is really really fast for him.

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