By Ben Robinson
BEREA — A.J. Ouellette, the former standout running back at Ohio University and 2014 graduate of Covington High School, signed with the Cleveland Browns on Saturday.
The 5-foot-9, 208-pound running back was previously with the New Orleans Saints and had tryouts with the Kansas City Chiefs and the Green Bay Packers before landing with the Browns.
Ouellette was a four-year starter at Ohio University after entering the program as an unknown walk-on out of Covington High School. He recorded back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons for the Bobcats in 2017 and 2018 and concluded his career with 3,829 rushing yards — good for third in the history of the program.
He was also a first-team All-Mid-American Conference selection as a senior and was named the Offensive Most Valuable Player in the Frisco Bowl after leading the Bobcats to a 27-0 win with 164 rushing yards on 29 carries and 197 all-purpose yards.
After his prestigious collegiate career, Ouellette impressed at his Pro Day this past March by bench pressing 225 pounds 32 times, which would have been good for second for running backs at the combine. He then recorded 36.5 inches in the vertical, which would have been good for sixth among running backs at the combine. To top it off, Ouellette had two runs in the forty-yard dash where he ran a 4.52 and a 4.48, which would have been good for 5th and 10th among backs at the combine. Ouellette followed that up with a time of 4.0 in the shuttle and a 6.8 time in the L-Cone.
Unfortunately, Ouellette was passed over in the 2019 NFL Draft, but he landed with the New Orleans Saints in May as an undrafted free agent. His stint with the Saints ended when New Orleans signed Javorius Allen — a five-year pro who was released by the Baltimore Ravens.
This left the opportunity for the Browns to snag the home-state product on Saturday after an impressive tryout.
Ouellette joins a running back stable consisting of Nick Chubb, Duke Johnson, Montreal Hilliard, D’Ernest Johnson, Trayon Gray and Kareem Hunt. Gray and Hunt are currently on the active/non-football injury list.