Rice football continues to fill up their 2019 recruiting class. Could Maryland athlete TD Ayo-Durojaiye be another out-of-state commitment for the Owls?
The recruiting focus has spread across the nation since Mike Bloomgren arrived at South Main late last year. The Owls have six commitments from inside the Lone Star state so far. They also have four more out-of-state commits: Garrett Braden (Linebacker, Connecticut), Trevor Bycznski (Quarterback, Ohio), Zach Hoban (Kicker, New Jersey) and most recently Gabe Jeudy (Cornerback, North Carolina).
If things work out the right way, Rice will add at least a few more commitments from outside the state of Texas. One of those possibilities is 2019 athlete TD Ayo-Durojaiye.
Ayo-Durojaiye plays his high school ball in Damascus, Maryland. He was already being recruited by Assistant Head Coach Mike Lembo last year while Lembo was at Maryland and has kept up that relationship as Lembo transitioned further south to Rice. Lembo was impressed enough with what he saw from Ayo-Durojaiye so far that the Owls went ahead and offered him a scholarship earlier this summer, despite the fact that he’s never set foot on campus at Rice.
That trust spoke volumes to Ayo-Durojaiye. “I think it shows the coaches really believe in my athletic ability,” he said regarding the out of state offer, adding that the coaches told him “he’d fit well” on the team and have a shot at early playing time as the Owls revamp their depth chart.
The potential fit between Ayo-Durojaiye and the Owls is intriguing. A 6-foot, 180-pound athlete, Ayo-Durojaiye has 17 offers so far across a variety of positions. A natural linebacker, he’s also been offered at running back and safety. The latter is where he feels he’ll have the best long-term success in college. That fits perfectly with how Rice plans to use him.
The three safety scheme (free, strong and viper) employed by defensive coordinator Brian Smith offers plenty of flexibility for different skillsets in the secondary. Ayo-Durojaiye’s burst and power would make him a great option near the line of scrimmage.
Whether or not the Owls can land Ayo-Durojaiye remains to be seen. He hasn’t scheduled any visits yet, but don’t be surprised to see head coach Mike Bloomgren will try to find a way to get him on campus this fall. Ayo-Durojaiye doesn’t plan to make any decisions regarding his future until the end of the season. That give’s Rice some time, but rest assured, they won’t be caught sleeping.