Don’t Forget About Tyrell Ajian

Freddie Maggardby:Freddie Maggard06/28/21

Photo By Jacob Noger | UK Football

This week I’ll be focusing on Kentucky starters that may be flying under the radar. These players are essential and will play vital roles in the 2021 season. First up is strong safety Tyrell Ajian.

Tyrell Ajian is a 6’0, 190-pound senior safety from Mansfield, Ohio. Ajian has played a great deal of meaningful snaps during his Wildcat career and plays a key role in Kentucky’s safety/nickel group that should serve as a defensive strength. He joins free safety Yusuf Corker and nickel Davonte Robinson in constructing a trio of senior veterans in the back third of the UK defense.

Tyrell Ajian - Kentucky - safety

(Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Tyrell Ajian was a tremendous recruiting get for Vince Marrow out of Ohio. He was rated as a 4-star prospect by Rivals, ESPN, and 247Sports. Looking back on his recruitment, I placed incredible value on Ajian’s multiple skill set. This is a trait that projects to versatility at the next level that is described in the old football saying, “The more (positions) you can play, the more you will play on Saturdays.” He excelled at defensive back, receiver, and quarterback for Madison Comprehensive. The versatile athlete also scored over 1,000 points on the basketball court. He eventually chose UK over Michigan, Michigan State, and West Virginia.

Ajian started ten games last season. He totaled 48 tackles, intercepted one pass, forced a fumble, and recorded one pass breakup in 2020. His best game came in the Gator Bowl against North Carolina State after registering a career-high seven tackles. He also blocked field goal against the Wolfpack. 2019 saw the safety play in 12 games with two starts. He recorded 17 tackles and added an interception as well as a pass breakup. Ajian’s redshirt freshman year produced 10 tackles, 3 pass breakups, and an interception during the Wildcats’ Citrus Bowl Championship season.

Tyrell Ajian has been a consistent contributor with the propensity for making big plays. He was a solid starter at the strong safety position a year ago. His return to the lineup bolsters the Wildcat defense that will be fielding new starters at cornerback. The Corker-Robinson-Ajian back-line will benefit Brad White’s defense and act as the tone-setters for explosive plays in 2021.

What Does All This Mean? 

Safety Yusuf Corker is an All-SEC performer and longtime starter that is garnering preseason praise from most outlets. Davonte Robinson’s decision to return to Lexington for an additional year of eligibility was an enormous bonus for the Wildcat secondary; however, Tyrell Ajian is the defender that is not being discussed enough and is projected to be a “Havoc” producer in 2021.

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