Covington’s Ouellette named starter for Ohio Bobcats opener

A.J. Ouellette missed most of last season with a foot injury but has been named a captain for his junior season at Ohio University. (Photo: Marcus Hartman/CMG Ohio)

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A.J. Ouellette missed most of last season with a foot injury but has been named a captain for his junior season at Ohio University. (Photo: Marcus Hartman/CMG Ohio)

The wait is almost over for A.J. Ouellette.

The former Covington High School standout is set to take the field Saturday for Ohio University when the Bobcats host Hampton.

The fourth-year junior missed almost all of last season with a foot injury after leading the team in rushing in 2014 and ’15.

RELATED: Ouellette credits community support for journey from walk-on to star

He declared himself 100 percent before practice started, and OU coach Frank Solich said this week Ouellette went through camp without any problems.

“I was worried about him going into fall camp because he was running and cutting very well this summer, but he was not getting into collisions this summer,” Solich said. “It’s one thing to run, but it’s another to run when someone else is running into you, so we think he is healthy and ready to go.”

Dorian Brown (5-11, 208) became the team’s primary runner last year, picking up 825 yards on 158 carries, and Solich said both will get a lot of playing time. Ouellette will be the starter.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

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Before he could be a star running back for the Ohio Bobcats, A.J. Oullette was a Covington Buccaneer. He credited people in the community for pushing him to find a place to continue his career after high school.

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The 5-9, 205-pound Ouellette ran for 785 yards and seven touchdowns as a freshman in 2014 and added 691 yards on the ground as a sophomore.

“He was developing into a very special back and he was doing that early in his career,” Solich said of Ouelette, who made the team as a walk-on initially. “That was a big loss to us, much more of a loss than maybe what a lot of people would know.

“He’s excited about playing. He’s a very instinctive guy. He’ll block, he’ll catch passes, but he’s so instinctive in his running ability and finds the right creases to hit mixed with his timing and acceleration coming through those holes is really pretty special.”

Other locals on the OU roster are senior cornerback Bradd Ellis (Lebanon), junior cornerback Cameron Gunnels (Mason), sophomore receiver DL Knock (Sprinbgoro), sophomore linebacker Austin Clack (Tippecanoe), senior linebacker Cody Grilliot (Northmont), redshirt freshmen cornerbacks Illyaas and Xavior Motley (Centerville), redshirt freshman linebacker Jared Dorsa (Kings), junior tight end Connor Brown (Miamisburg) and senior tight end Troy Mangen (Northmont).

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