All aboard the “Jay Train.”
Boise State junior tailback Jay Ajayi said Tuesday he’d like to see Broncos fans join in his unique touchdown celebration, when he makes a motion like he’s pulling a train whistle.
“It’s just the Jay Train getting it cranking,” he said in explanation. “ I’m the conductor.”
Ajayi started the train-themed celebration on one of his two touchdowns in last year’s home opener against UT Martin. He has marked most, but not all, of his touchdowns since then with the move. (You can watch a collection of his touchdowns, and listen to him explain the celebration, in the video above.)
Never miss a local story.
One of the inspirations behind the celebration was former Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, who pointed both arms toward the sky when he made a big play.
“They’ve got different nicknames for different running backs,” Ajayi said. “You’ve got Beast for Marshawn (Lynch), All Day for (Adrian Peterson), so I just came up with something creative for myself. Everyone’s got their own little dance in the end zone, so I came up with cranking it up, getting the crowd cranked up, getting the team cranked up.
“ I love the game of football. I love having fun. Tank (Lawrence) kind of had his deal so I wanted to have my own little deal when I did something good.”
The next step: “If I could get the whole crowd to do that, that would be sweet,” he said.
More from Ajayi, who has scored seven touchdowns and produced 174.5 yards from scrimmage per game this season:
— On Air Force: “They’re a disciplined team. They’re very athletic — not as big as everyone that we’ve played so far, but they do a lot well. They do a lot of gang tackling. They’re a good team defensively.”
— On the Falcons’ improvement from 119th in rushing defense last year to sixth this year: “To see how high they were in run defense was surprising. That’s probably just a credit to their coaches just emphasizing maybe one of their weaknesses last year and maybe making it a strength. As you can see in the stats, they’re doing that this year.”
— On encouraging sophomore backup Devan Demas, with whom he has a brother-like relationship: “I’m not going to be here forever. There’s a point to where he’s going to have to be able to step on the field. And I just want to make sure that every time he’s on the field, he’s taking full advantage of his opportunities. Not just with Devan, with Charles Bertoli and Jack Fields and all the rest of the guys. I’m always emphasizing when you guys get your chance, your opportunity, that you take full advantage of it because looking back at my career, that’s really how I was able to get on the field. Drew Wright got hurt one day and I got a chance to get in there and I took hold of it ever since.”
— On how he’s handling his workload (most offensive touches in the country): “I feel great. I actually feel a lot better than I did last year. I feel like the summer program we went through really prepared me for a season like this. I also think things I’ve been doing through the week — doing a lot of ice baths, doing a lot of stretching and icing my body where it may feel sore from the games when I come to Fridays and Saturdays for the games, I feel great.”
— Coaches have cut Ajayi’s practices reps to keep him fresh. “If it’s the same play over and over again — I’ve run it already once in practice. Then they’ll let those other guys run that play.”
— Ajayi was fighting an eye infection during the UConn game, when he produced a season-low 39 rushing yards. His eyes still are a little swollen, he said. “It was a little bit bad during the game but I’m not going to say that’s what caused me to not have a great rushing game because at the end of the day that’s an excuse. When you’re on the field, you’ve just got to produce no matter what.”
Boise State at Air Force
When: 5 p.m. Saturday
Where: Falcon Stadium (46,692, FieldTurf), U.S. Air Force Academy, Colo.
TV: CBS Sports Network (Carter Blackburn, Aaron Taylor, Jamie Erdahl)
Records: Boise State is 3-1 overall, 1-0 Mountain West; Air Force is 2-1, 0-1
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.