Who was that guy ripping down the field to make the tackle on special teams? Chances are it was senior Ayele Forde, a 5’7”, 183 lb. running back, who began his football career at Silverado High School down in Victorville, California. Forde was a dominant player in high school, but due to the location and lack of publicity for his high school, he was somewhat of an unknown gem who received only one scholarship offer – from a small school in South Dakota.
Forde knew his talent was bigger, so he rejected the offer, put it on the line and brought his talents to the Pac-12’s “Running Back U” as a walk-on. Walking on didn’t come close to satisfying Forde. He worked his tail off during his redshirt freshman season to learn the complicated offense, increase his strength and agility, and learn how to deal with the stresses of being a division I football player. During his next two seasons, he ran for 315 yards and two touchdowns while averaging five yards per carry and earning a scholarship in the process. With his remarkable play during his limited minutes, the coaching staff saw Forde’s ambition to improve and play, and implemented him on special teams. Last season he saw limited action as the relief RB and had a bigger impact on special teams where he had 13 tackles (4 unassisted and 9 assisted). Ayele will most likely continue his role as a special teams player, but will also remain at his most desired position, running back.
Ayele is a Digital Arts major who enjoys creating videos and paintings during his free time, something you don’t hear every day about a football player. His uniqueness brings a flavor to the team that his teammates feed off of in the most positive ways.