The ACC announced Wednesday morning that Duke’s Forster Ajago has been dubbed the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year.
The graduate striker wins the award in just his first season in Durham. It’s a season that has seen remarkable success for him personally, with 14 goals — as of Sunday — and more than a thousand minutes on the field. Ajago has started every game for Duke and scored in 10 of the 17 he has played in.
A native of Navrongo, Ghana, Ajago has played many places in a storied career in the college game. He started his career at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in his home country before moving to the United States to play at Delaware. After just five spring games with the Blue Hens, Ajago transferred to Dayton, where he played two seasons before joining the Blue Devils as a graduate transfer.
The standout striker is the third Duke player in as many years to earn this title, after Thorleifur Ulfarsson and Shakur Moahmmed won it in 2021 and 2022, respectively. Both former Blue Devils now play in the MLS.
Ajago was not the only Duke player to earn accolades Wednesday. Fellow Duke rookies Ulfur Bjornsson and Julian Eyestone were tabbed to the ACC All-Freshman Team while senior captain Nick Pariano earned a First Team All-ACC nod. Pariano leads his team in assists, with seven on the season. His co-captain Amir Daley also saw his name among the accolades on the roster for the All-ACC second team, and senior defender Antino Lopez earned a spot on the third team.
The Blue Devils have a chance to show off their award-winning roster in the NCAA tournament starting next week.
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Sophie Levenson is a Trinity sophomore and sports features editor of The Chronicle's 119th volume.