By noon, he was at Chargers Park sitting in on meetings.
“I didn’t want them to change their mind,” he joked, explaining why he got here so fast.
After a one-year sabbatical in Carolina, today Ajirotutu rejoined the Chargers, the team he signed with as an undrafted free agent in 2010. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound receiver recorded 13 catches for 262 yards and two touchdowns during his rookie year with the Bolts. Most recently, Ajirotutu spent the last few months working out at San Diego State hoping to one day get another crack at joining the team. Now, that dream has come true and he plans on making an immediate impact, starting on Thursday night vs. the Kansas City Chiefs.
“I’m ready to go,” Ajirotutu said emphatically. “I’ve been running. Obviously football shape is different, but with my will power and willingness to learn the schemes, I’ll be ready to go. All the guys and knowing the system have helped me. It’s my first day, and it wasn’t really nerve-wracking. It was just going out and running the routes and doing whatever I had to do. I felt good”
Even though he wasn’t a part of the team earlier this season, the Chargers remained very much on his mind. In fact, he’s followed them closely the entire year.
“Every week, I’d go to the games because Ryan (Mathews) and I are good friends,” he said. “So I was just waiting, hoping I’d have a shot in the dark (of coming back here.) It happened and I’m glad to be here and am hoping to make something happen.”
Ajirotutu referred to Mathews as his “best friend,” as the two have been extremely tight since their days together at Fresno State. In fact, the two lived together for three years, so the Chargers running back was thrilled to see his former teammate back on the team.
“It feels so good to see him back here!” Mathews said with a big smile. “He’s a real smart man, and a hard worker. It’s good to see him back. He’s going to help our team out a bunch with all the things he’s capable of doing.”
“Oh it’s good (to have him back),” he said. “Obviously he’s got the ability to step right in. He was always one of the smartest guys we had from a playbook standpoint, so he’ll have no problem adjusting. It’s good to see him.”
Fans may best remember Ajirotutu for his breakout performance against the Houston Texans. He caught four balls for 111 yards and two touchdowns in helping lead the Bolts to an important win. It’s a day he remembers quite vividly.
“My memories are just playing with the guys, and Philip throwing me great passes obviously,” he said. “It’s just that I stepped in and was able to play well, and hopefully I can still do that. I’m ready to go.”
It’s been nearly two years since Ajirotutu was last with the Chargers, but as he reiterated a number of times on Monday, he always held out hope that he’d return.
“In the back of my mind I always wanted to be back here,” he said. “And now I have the opportunity. I just have to make the most of my opportunity.”
With the injuries to the Chargers wide receivers, and the status of