Darius Ashley has a clear favorite

Cincinnati, OH standout Darius Ashley has narrowed his list down to a pair of schools - Louisville and Virginia - and will make his college decision after visiting the Cavs next weekend. Heading into that visit, one school has a strong lead for the three-star running back's services.

Cincinnati, OH standout Darius Ashley has narrowed his list down to a pair of schools - Louisville and Virginia - and will make his college decision after visiting the Cavs next weekend. Heading into that visit, one school has a strong lead for the three-star running back's services.

"I think he's about two weeks away from finally making a decision," said Steve Specht, Ashley's high school coach. "He's going to make a visit to Virginia next weekend. They were the first school that offered him and he kind of committed to at least taking a visit to them. So he really wants to see that school. After he makes that visit he'll make his decision."

Heading into his trip to Charlottesville, Louisville has a sizeable lead over the Cavaliers for Ashley's services.

"I think Louisville has been number one for a long time," Specht said. "I was guessing he would commit early but Darius is a man of his word and he just needed to go and take a look at Virginia. And I support him in that. So he's going to go visit them next Saturday then he'll come back and we'll sit down and talk and see where he is then."


Louisville has emerged as the clear favorite for Ohio
RB Darius Ashley.
Why is Louisville at the top of Ashley's short list?

"He loves their coaching staff," Specht said. "When we went down this past spring he liked Coach Kragthorpe a lot and he likes Coach (Mike) Cassity. He had a good visit there and he likes that it's relatively close to home where he family can come and see him play.

"From a selfish standpoint, I'd love to see him there because then I'd be able to get down and see him play. He likes their Business School and he just feels comfortable there. And he likes the fact that they're successful and score a lot of points. He just likes everything about (Louisville)."

Ashley, rated the No. 61 running back prospect nationally by Scout.com, suffered a high ankle sprain last month and hasn't played since. While Ashley returned to practice this week, his status for this week's game remains in question.

"He's been running and cutting but he just doesn't have that getty up yet," Specht said. "When he makes his move he's still tentative and he just doesn't accelerate off the push. When he gets back to that point that's when I'll play him again.

"He's just taking it day by day and we're trying to get him healthy. He practiced a little bit Monday, a little bit Tuesday. But I'm being real cautious with him because he has a great future. I want to get him back 100 percent so we've got him for the long haul. He could play right now if we needed him to but he's not 100 percent yet."

Specht said he doesn't know yet whether he'll play Ashley this Friday night.

"I'll make the decision tomorrow if he's available," Specht said. "He wants to go but he's got to be able to do everything that he can do. He's day to day and I'm going to make a decision after watching him today and tomorrow warm up. He's probably around 75-80 percent after watching him practice Monday and Tuesday."


Cardinal Authority Top Stories