Sold on Solomon
“I would light him up.”
Those were the words of Flames junior linebacker Solomon Ajayi when asked how he would fare if he was thrown into a one-on-one tackling situation against Philadelphia Eagles defending Super Bowl champion running back and older brother Jay Ajayi.
Coming out of high school, Solomon Ajayi had big expectations to look up to. Solomon Ajayi’s older brother Jay Ajayi was highly recruited. The brothers played their high school football in the state of Texas, but offers for Jay Ajayi came from Division I schools all around the country.
“He got Parade All-American after his senior year so he was pretty well known,” Solomon Ajayi said. “He kind of shut down recruiting early.”
Jay Ajayi accepted Boise State’s scholarship offer early on, not giving some of the country’s largest college football programs the opportunity to pursue the star running back.
Solomon Ajayi’s high school career didn’t follow the path that his older brother traveled. Solomon Ajayi played the first three years of his high school career at running back before switching to linebacker his senior season.
Following a successful senior campaign, Solomon Ajayi decided to attend a junior college in California before trying to transfer for his junior and senior seasons. Liberty came calling after Solomon Ajayi’s sophomore season.
“Liberty was the ones who came calling at the right time,” Solomon Ajayi said. “Everything just kind of fit perfectly with all of the transfer rules.”
At 4-3, Solomon Ajayi and the Flames are looking to have a standout season with the hopes of getting professional looks as well as victories on the field.
“Getting to the highest level, that’s what’s in the back of my mind every time that I play,” Solomon Ajayi said. “Obviously first helping the team get a win, but I also want to help build up my resume so that I can get a chance to play
For Solomon Ajayi, watching his brother take the field in the National Football League (NFL) has become normal.
“Growing up we’ve always had high expectations,” Solomon Ajayi said. “I never expected anything less from my brother, for me or any of our other siblings. It’s not something that I’m shocked by. It’s my life and I’m kind of used to it at this point.”
Despite Solomon Ajayi’s confidence that he could easily take down his big brother in a one-on-one tackling drill, the brothers are close off the field.
“I’d say we’re very close,” Solomon Ajayi said. “We were always close growing up. We never really fought or anything.”
For the Ajayi brothers, the Eagles 2017 Super Bowl win was not only incredible because Jay was one of the Eagles running backs but also because the Eagles defeated Tom Brady.
“I think (Brady) is the G.O.A.T,” Solomon Ajayi said. “I love Tom Brady. He’s a real professional.”
Solomon Ajayi said he attempts to strive for greatness each day. As the Flames begin to enter the second half of the season, they will look to Solomon Ajayi and the entire defensive unit to step up their performance and be great as the season’s toughest competition arrives.