"A born leader…"

Texas athlete QUIN ASHLEY flew under the radar screen for much of this recruiting season. A gifted, team-first athlete who played QB last year for the Wildcats (he could have started at several positions), he chose the University of Idaho over offers from TCU and Colorado State. He'll be joined by three other Texans this fall as they bring their hard-hitting brand of football to the Palouse.

This article was compiled from several sources, including published season statistics, previous Scout reports, and Scout.com conversations with Paris High School Football and Powerlifting Coach Travis Smith.

PLAYER PROFILE: Quin Ashley, 5-11, 190, QB/DB/ATH

Two weeks ago the Idaho Vandals found themselves going head-to-head with the TCU Horned Frogs for Paris High School athlete Quin Ashley, a 5-11, 190-pound All-District quarterback who could play numerous positions in college. He wasn't the most highly rated high school athlete in Texas this year, but when it came down to signing day the Vandals were in the thick of the hunt for the Lone Star State standout holding three Division 1A scholarship offers.

We learned during the NLI presentation that recruiting Texas would be a priority for Idaho in the years ahead, and first-year Idaho coach Robb Akey got it off to an immediate start signing four Texas athletes this year. Quin had his choice among TCU, Colorado State, and Idaho, among others. It wasn't until Scout.com spoke with Paris High School coach Travis Smith recently that it became more apparent why these programs were competing so hard for Quin to join their programs.

"It will be hard to replace his intangibles, what he brings to the team," coach Smith told Scout. "Athletic skills and abilities aside, he will be tough to replace."

A good student who comes from a strong family background, coach Smith had more to say. "He's very business-like in his approach to the game…he studies a lot of film. He's very professional in how he does things. He will be a good businessman someday, and he will be one of the team leaders [at Idaho]. Maybe not this year, but eventually he will. He is a born leader."

A dual-threat quarterback at Paris High, Quin directed a remarkably balanced offensive attack. On the ground he rushed for 902 yards and 17 touchdowns on the year, including a sprint of 68 yards and an average of 6.18 yards per carry. Through the air he completed 48% of his passes (69 of 143 attempts) for 993 yards, with 11 touchdowns and just five picks. The effort earned him unanimous First Team All-District honors, as well as being named to the All-Red River Valley First Team and honorable mention on the All Smoaky.com Team.

"He's extremely unselfish," Coach Smith was quoted as saying in the Official University of Idaho NLI press release. "He played quarterback for us knowing it wasn't his natural position. He's a safety, wide receiver type who will do anything for his team."

Playing out of position was likely one of the reasons he flew so far under the radar this recruiting season. He could play any of a number of positions at Idaho this fall. He'll get a chance to play a little quarterback, and could easily play safety, wide receiver, or a little outside linebacker. He's that versatile. "Oklahoma was looking at him as a slot receiver." He could fit in at several positions, including immediately at special teams.

A complete athlete, he's strong for his size. He reportedly has a 315-pound bench, 450-pound squat, 4.59 – 40 (hand-held), and 30-inch vertical jump. All of it means he could play just about anywhere for Idaho.

So, why did he pick Idaho? TCU, a strong program and member of the Mountain West Conference, is a team close to home (about 2 hours from Paris). With offers from TCU, Colorado State, and Idaho, Quin verbally committed to the nearby Horned Frogs a little over a week before National Letter of Intent day. For most Vandal fans, it was believed the recruiting process was over.

Quin wasn't the only Paris athlete to be offered a scholarship by Idaho. Teammate Dewey Hale, the team's go-to receiver and starting defensive back, instead verbally committed to Idaho. The two visited Moscow together near the end of January, and each made their decision.

But according to coach Smith, "The more Quin thought about it, the more he wanted to be a Vandal." Days before NLI day Quin changed his mind and changed his commitment to first-year head coach Robb Akey and the Vandals.

The Frogs weren't about to let Quin go that easily. They put up a last-second effort to get Quin to change his commitment back to TCU, but he stuck with his verbal commitment to the Vandals and last week sent his NLI to the University of Idaho.

"He's already wearing a Vandal hat," coach Smith said. "He said he would get me one as soon as possible. He just really liked the program up at Idaho."

Quin is one of four Texas standouts headed north to the Palouse to play football and pursue degrees at Idaho this fall. He will be joined by teammate Hale, plus Texas 5A Defensive Player of the Year Justin Allen (LB), and Tyler Junior College tightend Jim Reuber, a 3-star prospect who signed with Kansas out of Plano West High School. The four athletes are the first Texan's to play at Idaho since Houston product D.J. Smith earned All-WAC honors at wide receiver in 2005 and took his game to the NFL as a junior.

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