Meet AJ

How I Beat The Odds

I am from Covington, Ohio – a small, rural village in Southwest Ohio consisting of approximately 2,500 residents and a 2014 graduate of Covington High School in a graduating class consisting of 47 individuals. The village is primarily a farming community where values of faith, family, hard work, and “Covington Pride” are the norm.

These values are the foundation my older sister Ashlie and myself were raised on by our parents Phil and Jody Ouellette. My parents have been life-long partners since grade school and the importance of family has been a strong influence in my life.

I began my athletic experience as a youngster in football, wrestling and baseball where I learned the valuable lessons of work ethic, drive and determination. As I grew older and the competition level increased, my abilities blossomed through doing extra work on my own – waking up two hours before school to exercise – not because I was forced, but because I wanted to be the best.

My desire to work even harder went to another level in high school when I began training with Tramain Hall at Enhance U during my sophomore year of high school. This led to an exciting athletic career at Covington High School where I participated in three sports – football, wrestling and track.

I placed at the state wrestling meet in my junior and senior years and I also qualified for the state meet in track. But football is my true love and I was blessed to play the sport under a great motivator, coach Dave Miller. I was also blessed to have great teammates, who are life-long friends. I can’t credit my high school teammates and coaches enough because they taught me the importance of the team concept and that the game of football is bigger than one person.

I was fortunate to have a very rewarding high school career as we qualified for the state playoffs in each of my four years. I never worried about individual statistics, but thanks to my coaches and teammates I was able to put up some numbers future players will hopefully use as motivation to surpass. I rushed for 2,434 yards and scored 46 touchdowns as a junior; rushed for 2,533 yards and scored 42 touchdowns as a senior; had 5,475 career rushing yards; had 7,498 career all-purpose yards; and scored 99 career touchdowns and 672 career points. I was also blessed to represent my team and coaches as the Offensive Player of the Year in the state of Ohio as a senior.

I always knew I wanted to play collegiate football at a big-time program, but unfortunately the only interest I primarily received came from smaller schools in Division II and Division III. After visiting some bigger schools, I decided to walk on at Ohio University because I felt the coaches were genuine when they indicated they would give me a chance to prove myself.

Coach Frank Solich and Coach Tim Albin were men of their word as they did give me a chance to showcase my talent and the results were everything I could dream of and more. I was blessed to have an outstanding collegiate career at Ohio University and bonded closely with many great teammates. I can’t thank my coaches, teammates and Bobcat Nation enough for everything they all did for me during my time in Athens. I am a Bobcat for life!

My dream of playing professional football became a reality as a member of the Toronto Argonauts in the Canadian Football League. I have been blessed with the opportunity provided by the Argonauts’ organization and I am extremely proud to be a part of the 2022 Grey Cup Championship Team.

In closing I would like to stress to kids the importance of chasing your dreams. Set your goals high and have a plan of action in reaching your goals. Relentlessly follow through on your plan and embrace the adversity you will face along the way.

With best regards,

Below is a photo gallery from my childhood through my professional career. Click on the thumbnails to enlarge.

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