Orlando, Fla.--Now at The First Academy to work on his academics with the hopes of getting to the Auburn Tigers in December, five-star offensive tackle commitment Calvin Ashley was back on the Plains this weekend to get a closer look at his future position coach Herb Hand.
Spending a lot of time with the new Auburn OL boss off the field and getting to watch him coach up the guys on the field, Ashley said Hand made a strong impression on him and he’s still very much a strong commitment to the Tigers.
“He’s a great coach,” Ashley said of Hand. “That’s a good fit for them. He fits perfectly. He’s a great person and a great coach. I like him, I do.
“It was important because I wanted to see what kind of person he was,” he added of the visit. “It fit real good. He’s ready for me to get there because they need tackles and I’m ready to come.”
Even though schools such as Florida, Florida State, Texas and others continue to come after him, Ashley said his visit to Auburn only reinforced his decision even more because of what he felt after the departure of J.B. Grimes. While the two were close he said his commitment was much more than relationships. Because of that he said nobody else is even in the picture with the Tigers.
“I love Auburn,” Ashley said. “I always did. It (Grimes’ departure) didn’t change my mind any. I just needed to see the coach and everything was good.
“There’s no number two,” he added. “It’s just Auburn, straight Auburn.”
Relaxed and confident in his choice, Ashley spent two days on campus with the coaches and also hanging out with his future teammates. Watching them on the practice field Saturday as they put on the pads for the first time this spring he said the Tigers got after it.
“It was the first day in pads and it was great because everybody wanted to get after it,” Ashley said. “It was a physical day. They’re a big, aggressive team and fast. The pace of the offense was crazy. That was good.”
Seeing Auburn in person also backed up what Ashley already knew and that is his opportunity to play very, very early when he gets on campus next year.
“They’re weak at tackles right now,” Ashley said. “They need new tackles. I’m just ready to compete.”
Now concentrating on helping recruiting guys to join him at Auburn including Trey Smith, Cesar Ruiz and Austin Troxell, Ashley said he plans to be back for the A-Day game on April 9 at Jordan-Hare Stadium.