|A.J. was named MVP of the Frisco Bowl in December.
MAY 1, 2019 - COVINGTON
If A.J. Ouellette was a gambler, he would probably break the bank in Vegas. He'd be the one who wouldn't fold when dealt a crappy hand and pull out a royal flush on the final card.
Being dealt a crappy hand is something Ouellette has become accustom to throughout his football career, but he always manages to stay the course and prove himself each and every time.
It happened coming out of high school as Ouellette drew very little interest from any Division I programs and was forced to walk on at Ohio University. This, after accumulating 7498 total yards and scoring 99 touchdowns in a high school career that capped by being named Offensive Player of the Year honors in the state of Ohio as a senior.
Ouellette was frustrated throughout the entire recruiting process, yet he never let self doubt enter his mind. Instead, he continued to grind and quickly earned a scholarship at OU and eventually became one of the best players in program history.
Entering last week's NFL Draft, Ouellette had high hopes of being a late round draft pick or at the minimum being signed to a contact as an undrafted free agent.
This seemed to be a safe bet as Ouellette had an amazing collegiate career where he amassed 3,829 career rushing yards as a four-year starter at OU and was graded the fifth best running back in the country in regards to overall on-field performance. He then followed with an impressive showing at his pro day with 32 reps of 225 pounds on the bench, 36.5 inches in the vertical, two runs in the forty-yard dash where he ran a 4.52 and a 4.48, a time of 4.0 in the shuttle and a 6.8 time in the L-Cone.
Yes, Ouellette had everything going for him where one would assume every NFL team would seemingly benefit from, including an impeccable character - which many times is the downfall of even the most talented of players.
Unfortunately, just like high school, Ouellette was passed up as he never received a call through the seven rounds of the draft and wasn't offered a free agent contract. Once again, Ouellette was dealt a crappy hand.
Fortunately, one team came forward on Sunday with interest in Ouellette and offered him an invitation to the rookie minicamp - the New Orleans Saints. Once again, Ouellette will have to prove himself.
For those who know Ouellette and have been witness to his unbelievable character, work ethic and talent, it's incomprehensible to see him being overlooked once again. Yes, the NFL is the highest level of football and many of the best athletes in the world play the game, but Ouellette is a rare and unique individual as evident by the feeling of those who coached him. For instance, both Frank Solich (the head coach a OU) and Dave Miller (A.J.'s high school coach) have said A.J. is special.
But it is what it is and the odds are once again stacked against A.J. Ouellette as he continues to chase his dream of a long and prestigious NFL career. He's been in the same situation before and overcame the odds.
Yes, you can bet A.J. Ouellette will stay in the game and be dealt a royal flush (an NFL contract) on the final card.
For those in New Orleans wondering WHO DAT? They'll soon find out it's A.J. Ouellette.