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NFL Draft Profile: Mikey Ayers


Who is Mikey Ayers?

Mikey Ayers (Michael Ayers Jr.) is a 6-1, 210-pound linebacker from Division II Ashland University. A native of Columbus, Ohio, Ayers played his high school ball at Walnut Ridge High School. As a senior safety, Ayers led the Walnut Ridge Scots in both tackles and interceptions. Not only that, he also competed as a three-sport athlete, earning varsity letter in football, track, and wrestling.

Redshirt Freshman Season (2018)

After using his redshirt availability in 2017, Ayers first took the field in 2018 for Ashland. He would lock down the whip linebacker/safety position, finishing with 23 total tackles (3 1/2 going for a loss,), a pair of sacks, and a forced fumble.

Redshirt Sophomore Campaign (2019)

After fully making the transition from safety to linebacker, Ayers played in all 11 of Ashland’s contests in 2019. In those 11 appearances were nine starts. Final stats include 27 total tackles (17 solo), with two and a half going for negative yardage. He also would rack up half a sack and a 14-yard interception return.

COVID Cuts Season/Another Opportunity

The COVID pandemic would put a halt and prevent Ayers from seeing the field in 2020.

Redshirt Senior Year (2021)

In his first full year, and in a new conference, Ayers broke out in a big way. He would collect Division II Super Region 1 honors, the Great Midwest Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Year award, and even be nominated for the Cliff Harris award (for the top D-II college or smaller defense player). Likewise, his stats proved he was becoming a dominant force at the linebacker position. Ayers would lead the Eagles in total tackles (100), solo and assist (52 and 48, respectively), tackles for loss (12), and forced fumbles (two). He would also chip in three sacks and a fumble recovery. He would make a personal-best 19 tackles in a single game against Ohio Dominican on October 9th.

Redshirt Fifth Season (2022)

Ayers would return for a fifth go with the Eagles in 2022, and he would not disappoint. The linebacker finished his 2022 campaign with 82 tackles (10.5 for loss), 3 sacks, 3 forced fumbles, a fumble recovery, and an interception return for 16 yards against Indiana University of Pennsylvania on Nov. 26.

What’s To Like About Mikey Ayers’ Style of Play

When Ayers steps on the field, he immediately shows that he can be a tough player for opposing offenses to neutralize. He’s physical, quick, able to recognize plays from the get-go, and can cover receivers well. He also can play deep and stick with matchups or can create havoc on the bull-rush.

Question Marks

The only thing that might detract from the intrigue is his frame. 6-1, 210 doesn’t exactly make him the biggest linebacker, so he may get lost in assignments on occasion.

So, Where Will Ayers End Up Going?

Ayers recently had a chance to work out with the New York Jets. But only time will tell where he will end up landing.

 What Kind of Guy is He Like Off the Field?

At Ashland, Mikey seemed to be one of the more popular players on the team. “He was voted captain by his teammates, and had a kind word for whoever he met,” new Ashland coach Doug Geiser said. “He (Ayers) was one of the team leaders in community service.” Ayers would help lead football summer camps on the defensive side of the ball, and he took part in a Be the Match campaign to help with bone marrow donation.

Other Profiles

To check out more NFL draft profiles, go see what BSP’s own Brian Ramos is up to with Florida linebacker Ventrell Miller here. As the Draft draws closer, Ayers will be looking to join a select few as the 10th Ashland Eagle in program history to join the ranks on NFL draft choices.

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