The first few days of Washington fall camp appeared to be going well for senior tight end David Ajamu. Then heartbreak set in.
The first few days of Washington fall camp appeared to be going well for senior tight end David Ajamu.
After battling several injuries early in his career, Ajamu was finally healthy and productive during that first week of August, playing with the No. 2 offense and looking primed to help the Huskies’ passing attack.
First, Ajamu’s apartment was destroyed in a fire. “Lost everything he owns,” UW coach Chris Petersen said.
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About a week later, Ajamu sustained a broken leg during a practice, ending his season and, it seems, his UW career.
“I feel bad for Dave,” UW coach Chris Petersen said. “This team has a lot of respect for him. He’s been through some hard things in his life and he’s had a hard week. His apartment burned down. … Two days later, he’s done playing football.
“But he’s had great spirit. We love that guy. He’s an inspiration to us. He’s got a great degree from the University of Washington and he’s going to be a successful guy, I know that.”
The Aug. 5 apartment fire near Northgate left 60 to 70 residents displaced, according to the Seattle Fire Department. No one was injured.
The fire, which caused an estimated $6 million in damage, was blamed on faulty electrical equipment.
Petersen said UW coaches and administrators were doing what they could to help him.
“We’re doing everything that we can do NCAA-wise and giving him as much money as we can,” Petersen said. “And there’s some stuff that we can do as coaches and everything we’re clearing through compliance and we’re helping him as much as we can.”
A fifth-year senior from Shelton, Ajamu had missed most of the 2015 season with a knee injury.
Petersen said Ajamu had surgery on his broken leg last week and won’t be able to travel with the team to the season opener at Rutgers.
“He’ll be around and he’ll figure out what his next thing is,” Petersen said. “Everybody’s going to have to do that sooner or later. It just came a lot faster, but he’s got some time. I know this: Dave is going to be a successful guy. He really is. … He’s a smart guy, he’s got great charisma about him. I’m anxious to see what direction he’s going to go and help figure it out.”