NFL Draft: Brit Jay Ajayi Dreaming of Wembley Return

British running back Jay Ajayi – who is set to be one of the leading players taken in this week’s NFL Draft in Chicago – has admitted that he would love to play an NFL regular season game at Wembley Stadium in the future.

The Boise State star told BritViewNFL.com:

“It would be a dream come true to play an NFL game at Wembley Stadium because it is such an iconic sporting venue and is renowned for being the home of English soccer.”

efe-obada-and-jay-ajayi

Ajayi teamed up with NFL-bound Dallas Cowboys defensive end Efe Obada as the Brits held a Play 60 event for pupils at St. Andrews Catholic School in Streatham. Ajayi then went on to visit The Emirates – home of his beloved Arsenal F.C., where he caused quite a stir in the club shop as he was given a shirt and onlookers thought he was a new signing.

Ajayi was born in Hackney and lived in Manor House before moving out to Essex. His family emigrated to the United States when he was seven years old but he recalls his time spent in the UK.

He said:

“I had a great time growing up here in the UK and this trip home has brought back many special memories.”

Ajayi is considered one of the top running backs available in next week’s NFL Draft – which will air exclusively live on Sky Sports 1 from midnight – and could go as early as the second round. He has worked out for a number of teams but would not name names when we spoke on Thursday. He did say he has been contacted by “all the teams you would expect with running back needs” and they have expressed an interest in him.

That could put Ajayi in the frame to be drafted by the likes of the Dallas Cowboys, Jacksonville Jaguars, New England Patriots and Cleveland Browns. Whoever calls his name, the proud Brit will be delighted.

“I’ve enjoyed the draft process but now I want to get back on that field and play football,” Ajayi told me.

“And I’m very proud to be one of a growing number of Brits playing in the NFL. That just fires me up even more to do well when I reach the NFL.”

You can see my interviews with Jay Ajayi and Efe Obada during Sky Sports’ NFL Draft Show from midnight on Sky Sports 1 on Thursday April 30.

Neil Reynolds
Neil Reynolds has covered the NFL as a journalist and broadcaster since 1991. He currently serves as co-host of the NFL coverage on Sky Sports and has also co-presented BBC Radio 5 Live’s coverage of American football. Reynolds has worked for British football magazines Gridiron and First Down and has also written for American organisations such as the Green Bay Press-Gazette, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Pittsburgh Post-Press Gazette, NFL.com and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He currently writes for SkySports.com, nfluk.com and the International Series gameday magazines and has interviewed some of the biggest names in American football including Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, John Elway, Andrew Luck and Adrian Peterson. Reynolds also hosts NFL UK’s popular ‘Fan Nights’ series and live events such as the NFL on Regent Street and Trafalgar Square Fan Rally, as well as Tailgate Parties at Wembley Stadium.
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