Meet the Monarchs: Prince Ajegwu Q&A
By ODU Athletics
Now that spring football practice has started, ODUSports.com will report on practice with posts on practice, highlights and photo galleries. On non-practice days, we will continue to produce player Q&A's. Today's Q&A is with redshirt freshman safety, Prince Ajegwu.
Q: What made you choose ODU?
A: I chose Old Dominion because of the distance from home. My mom did not want me to go too far out of state for college. ODU gave me a full ride as well. Both of those things were key contributors. I liked the school, I established a great connection with Coach Buggs when I first came on my visit. Old Dominion felt like home.
Q: What is your major?
A: I am majoring in exercise science to become a physical therapist.
Q: When did you start playing football?
A: I started playing football in eighth grade. A lot of my friends thought I should give it a try since I am athletic.
Q: Did you play any other sports growing up?
A: I ran track. Track was my thing. I ran the 200m and 400m. I also ran in the 4x100m relay. I loved sprinting.
Q: In your year here, what have you learned?
A: I have learned to be accountable for myself and be more responsible. In high school things were more structured while college everything is loose. I learned to be good with my time, hold myself accountable for going to classes, study halls, and meetings. Taking care of my body after workouts is crucial too.
Q: How has this redshirt year help you?
A: I feel like it has helped me a lot. Mainly, the mental aspect because when I first got here everything was going fast. My redshirt year has made me study film more and get a chance to learn the playbook. I have been able to take care of my body more, get my body fat down and my weight up. I have learned the whole scheme in my year off.
Q: What do you think you can improve on this spring and summer for fall?
A: Some of the main things to improve on this offseason are my ball skills, mental aspect, and flexibility. I am not too good at catching so I need to work on that to get some interceptions. From the mental aspect, just to slow down the game more. It is starting to slow down now, but I want to get more comfortable on the field. As far as flexibility, I have had hamstring problems so I want to make sure my body is taken care of.
Q: Favorite athlete and why?
A: Usain Bolt. I loved track growing up and he did things that people didn’t think were possible. The way he was humble yet proud of what he did. It made me take a sense of ownership in what I did in track.
Q: Favorite food?
A: Jollof Rice. It’s a Nigerian dish with rice, tomatoes, and different meats you can put in it. I like it because I grew up eating it. I usually like more Nigerian dishes than American.
Q: Favorite Movie?
A: My favorite movie is Rudy. I liked it because it showed that even if odds are against you, to keep fighting. I usually watch it when times are down or I am feeling down. I can keep on fighting like him, it is great motivation.
Q: If you could have one superpower, what would it be?
A: I would say the power to read minds. Just to know what to expect and what will happen next. I would always be prepared for the future and wouldn’t be put on the spot by anything.
Q: Any hidden talents?
A: I can play drums really well. I play Nigerian drums though, they are a little bit more round and deeper.
Q: Talk about your family and your Nigerian background.
A: I was not born in Nigeria, but both my parents were born there. My dad works for the state highway administration of Maryland and my mom is a nurse at two hospitals in Baltimore. Growing up, my parents tried to go back to Nigeria every four years or so. I have been there five or six times. I enjoy going back because I get to see family I never see, I get to see my grandma.
Q: Are you and your parents the only ones in your family here in the United States?
A: On my mom’s side, she is the only one here. My dad’s siblings followed him here and they live in New York and Pennsylvania. They stayed on the east coast and are close which is nice.
Q: This is your first time going through winter workouts, how was it?
A: It was not as crazy as I expected. I have great stamina. For me, the main thing was taking care of my body each day. Getting my mindset right to go out and compete through each drill and finish. I am not a verbal leader, but I can lead through my actions on the field. Overall, winter workouts were good and I feel confident going into spring ball.
Q: You said you were not much of a verbal leader, but playing safety requires being vocal on the field. What can you do to improve being a vocal defensive leader?
A: Speaking up more. Not worrying about if my response is correct or not. I have to get everyone on the same page. Interacting with my defensive teammates is important. The more comfortable off the field I am with them will only improve our play on the field.