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Jay Ajayi Should Turn Pro, Says Guy Who Is Usually Wrong

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Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

I have a highly wrong opinion to share - wrong because you might definitely think I'm nuts and wrong because I probably shouldn't even be sharing it. Wrong because I have always erred on the side of immense homerism and never on the side of practical life coaching. Wrong because, if read in a certain light with a certain squint while munching on a certain churro, it will sound like I'm telling Jay Ajayi to turn pro.

Here goes.

Jay Ajayi should turn pro.

(me = horse. Bronco fan = cat)

This might be the most unpopular opinion I've held since I held the opinion of Gamecube > Playstation. And yet, I'm holding it. I'm holding to my take that Jay Ajayi should leave Boise State after his junior year to pursue NFL riches, and I'm holding the thought while holding a Gamecube controller and playing Mario Tennis.

Here's a bit about why.

I often find myself falling into the trap of thinking about what's best for me, Kevan Football Fan, when I'm making pronouncements and recommendations about what Boise State football players should do. This is definitely not one of those times.

Jay Ajayi is in the midst of completing what figures to be the single best season for a Boise State running back since ever. There has likely never been a more NFL-ready running back at Boise State than Ajayi.

Jay Ajayi is NFL-ready now, yesterday, a few months back even. He has finished the best rushing season in Bronco history. He won a conference championship and went to a Fiesta Bowl.

His stock could be higher with a repeat performance next season.

His stock is definitely super high right at this very moment.

Do you take the sure thing of this year or the unknown boost of a non-guaranteed sequel?

If it's as simple as maximizing your opportunity for NFL success, I'd tell Jay to go with the sure thing. Leave now.

Let's say he has a third or fourth round grade right now (a sensible guess for a superstar running back from a non-BCS league). A third or fourth round pick receives a million bucks and a 90 percent chance to stick on a roster for multiple years. That's a pretty great spot to be.

If he stays and blows out his knee? Whoops. (He's blown out a knee already once at Boise State.)

If he stays and has a down year? Sorry! (Ian Johnson had a string of bad years after his One Great Year.)

And Boise State fans don't have to worry what will happen to us when he's gone. We've got the following returning starters:

  • QB - Hedrick
  • RB - Ajayi, McNichols
  • WR - Sperbeck, Williams-Rhodes, Anderson
  • TE - Roh, Dhaenens, Huff
  • OL - Odhiambo, Averill, Henry, Yakoo, Baggett
  • DL - Martin, Nance, McCaskill, Correa
  • LB - Weaver, Vallejo, Bell
  • DB - Deayon, Moxey, Page, Thompson, Lukehart, Sumner-Gardner

Of course, it's never quite that easy. Jay could choose to stay because he loves Boise, he loves college, he loves his teammates, he loves reading about himself in certain nug-related blogs. He could stay because he wants to learn more from Kent Riddle and Bryan Harsin and to be a more complete football player. Those are all excellent reasons to stay, and I would be over the moon if he went with any one of them.

But if Jay Ajayi were to ever call me for advice (208-433-0985), I'd tell him to get on out of here. Enjoy the NFL. Good-bye and thanks for all the touchdowns.

And then I would remind Jay that I am wrong a ridiculous amount of the time.