Intro 2013: RB Joseph Ajeigbe

Sophomore running back Joseph Ajeigbe figures to be the next elite back from Norco (Calif.) and keeping the Cougar tradition rolling in the backfield...

Norco (Calif.) running back Joseph Ajeigbe, a prospect in the 2013 class, is well aware of the tradition of great backs at Norco.

The same school that produced 2009 Heisman Trophy runner-up Toby Gerhart, calls Arizona State freshman Deantre Lewis as an alum and features current four-star running back and Stanford commit Kelsey Young, has Ajeigbe lined up as the next bigtime back for the Cougars.

Ajeigbe has been backing up Young this season, but like Young did last year, when he was spelling Lewis to bide his time till he was the man, Ajeigbe is content to play second fiddle.

But if history continues, Ajeigbe will be the guy in the backfield the next two seasons, and a nice combo with freshman quarterback Colton Gerhart.

And schools figure to watch Ajeigbe blossom.

Standing 5-8, 196-pounds, Ajeigbe said he models his game after another smaller but thicker back, Maurice Jones-Drew.

"I'd say I'm similar to Maurice Jones-Drew or Emmitt Smith," said Ajeigbe. "Not as big but I can take a hit and deliver one."

Ajeigbe was initially going to play a slot role for the Cougars, and back up Young, but has seen more and more carries.

"The plan going into the season was playing more slot back, even though I wasn't familiar with playing the receiver position, but they made me into a receiver because I was pretty good at catching the ball," said Ajeigbe. "Now I'm running the ball more."

Ajeigbe said while it's still early in the recruiting process, schools have been telling head coach Todd Gerhart they are interested.

"A couple of schools that have been asking about Kelsey have been asking about me," said Ajeigbe.

Those schools include UCLA, USC and Oregon.

And the Bruins have had Ajeigbe's eye for years.

"UCLA was my favorite school growing up," said Ajeigbe. "My dad went there so I've always liked them."

Stanford and Arizona State, two schools who have recruited Norco well, are also on Ajeigbe's watch list.

"Pretty much whoever recruits me, I'll take a look at," said Ajeigbe. "My interest is in the Pac-10, but I'll look at everyone. It's just my family wants me on the West Coast If UCLA or USC offered me, I'd probably commit quickly, but if it's other schools, I'll just see where it takes me."

Ajeigbe said he plans to be aggressive this offseason with camps and combines, to get his name out there more.

Academically, he has a 3.7 GPA and took the PSAT this fall and will likely take the SAT in the spring.

Brandon is in his sixth year with Scout.com, currently as the West Regional Manager. Prior to joining Scout, he spent three years as an o-line and tight ends coach in the high school ranks.
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