Meeker senior running back Ajay Lynch has been playing football the vast majority of life, starting at the young age of four after his mom realized he needed an outlet for all of his energy.
“I just really ornery in pre-k,” he admits. “My mom put me in it (football) just so I could have something to focus on.”
It didn’t take long for Lynch to realize that he loved the sport.
“I really started enjoying it when I started playing with my own age group. So, probably 7 or 8,” he says. “My dad started coaching me then and started pushing me. I really started to see that it was something that motivated me and something that I could help other people be better at too.”
Lynch’s parents, Matt and Sarah Lynch, were not only instrumental in his early football playing days but continue to be instrumental in his career to this day.
“My parents are my motivation,” he says. “My dad is in the oil field, so he’s gone a lot and works really hard. So, I try to not miss meetings, be on time to film, be on time to workouts, and control the things that I can control.”
Lynch’s football career began at 6A power Choctaw but after moving to Meeker before his junior year, Ajay knew he needed to work a little harder to handle the rigors of 2A football.
“When I moved here, I realized that weighing 170 pounds at running back wasn’t going to get it done,” he says. “So, in the offseason (before junior year), I gained 15 pounds and then this offseason I got up to 205. I think playing a new position and coming to a new school and system, I just wanted to get my body right so I could help out my team.”
There are some obvious differences between 6A and 2A but for Lynch, there are two glaring differences.
“The biggest difference (between 6A and 2A) for me was playing both ways and that’s not common in 6A,” he says. “I also feel like 2A players have to work a little harder to get noticed by colleges since they are right there in the cities where all the media is. So, there are more eyes.”
While Lynch recognizes the benefits of playing for a big school, he also says playing for a small school like Meeker makes him more thankful to be able to play the game.
“6A school have huge busses and all this other stuff,” he says. “But it’s cool coming here because then you don’t take those things for granted and makes you more appreciative of what you do have. Like, we got these sweet new helmets this year and those are way more important here because those aren’t things you get every day.”
Lynch has been dominant since he stepped on the field for Meeker. Through seven weeks of action this year, Lynch is currently 8th in the state in rushing at 796 yards. He also has 376 yards on the ground giving him 1,172 yards of offense. That is the second most in Oklahoma among non-quarterbacks. While his production has been great this year, he and the Bulldogs still have plenty ahead of them. Right now, Meeker sits in 5thplace in District 2A-2 so they have to play well down the stretch to make the playoffs. While postseason play is what is most important to Lynch, he does want to hit 3,000 all-purpose yards this season.
Given his production, size at 5’10” and 200 pounds, and the fact he has a 3.91 GPA, one would think that offers would be rolling in. But they are not. As of now, Lynch holds two division two offers, Oklahoma Baptist and East Central. Lynch is grateful for those offers and knows that he could do a lot worse than go to either of those schools.
“A lot of people try to fight to get one offer. That was my goal, to get one,” he says. “Now I just try to focus on my senior year and help us get better.”
Lynch’s coach, Maverick Lang, only has high praise for his running back. From his work ethic to his ability on the field, Lang says Lynch is the complete package and that any school, big or small, would be lucky to have him.
“He might want to go to one of the two schools that have already offered him, but I think he’ll have plenty of other college opportunities to explore as well,” Lang says. “As a player, he’s a guy you want in the locker room. He leads by example, has a great work ethic and is here every day. Leaders can be good or bad and luckily he’s a good one and he’s a guy people gravitate to. Obviously, the production he’s given us makes our playing calling easier and he’s versatile. I’m just proud of him and he’s one of the best students in the class.”
Being at a small school Lang knows it’s harder for guys like Ajay to get the recognition they deserve but he said when he is able to talk to schools, his pitch on Ajay is pretty simple.
“You’ll get a heck of athlete that for some reason doesn’t have the publicity,” he says. “He’s a dang good football player and that’s what he is, a football player. It’s what he does. He loves football. You’ll also get a really good young man that’ll be great in your locker room.”
While Lynch hopes those bigger offers come his way, and he and coach Lang do what they can to bring more attention to Meeker, he is going to control what he can control and try to help his Bulldogs go as far as possible this season.