Will Ashley's decision influence teammate?

Darius Ashley is officially in the fold for Louisville. Will the three-star running backs recent decision to play for Steve Kragthorpe's Cardinals influence friend and teammate Greg Scruggs to follow suit?

Darius Ashley is officially in the fold for Louisville. Will the three-star running backs recent decision to play for Steve Kragthorpe's Cardinals influence friend and teammate Greg Scruggs to follow suit?

"I hope not and I really like Louisville, Coach Kragthorpe and that staff a bunch," St. Xavier coach Steve Specht said. "I hope kids make decisions that are best for their future. If he makes a decision just because his buddies are going somewhere I think that's the wrong reason to make a decision. If it's a fit for him and they offer what he wants academically, he feels comfortable with the staff, great. But if he's just making the decision because his buddy is going there I'd ask him to re-think that."

Will Greg Scruggs be influenced by friend and
teammate Darius Ashley's decision to play for
Louisville next year?
Scruggs has emerged as one of the top defensive line prospects in the Midwest. He's been picking up scholarship offers left and right recently – all this despite playing just one season of high school football. Since he's new to the recruiting process, Scruggs will likely have to take his time and evaluate his options over the next couple months.

"Greg has to wait and he has to take his visits," Specht said. "The other guys have been able to look at different schools for a while now. Greg hasn't. A year ago he was trying to figure out what kind of Division II college he wanted to go to (basketball). Now he has offers from Louisville, Tennessee, Michigan State. He's over-whelmed right now and what he needs to do is sit down and identify his Top 5 schools and then take those visits because he doesn't know anything about these schools yet.

"He's still just trying to get all of the information because each week he get new offers. His potential is unbelievable. He's off the charts. And that's what everybody sees. When all is said and done he's going to have so many offers he's going to have to sit down and think hard about what he wants to do."

Louisville is also keeping a close watch on Stephon Ball, another teammate of Ashley's. Apparently, the Cardinals are evaluating the 6'5, 220 pound Ball's potential as a tight end.

"Obviously, Stephon is on their radar," Specht said. "They wanted to see how the rest of the season panned out. Stephon had a real good game this past Friday night against Moeller – he did a good job blocking. I think that's what they are waiting to see is how he does as a tight end. He's doing a pretty good job for us right now."

Specht said Ball's future is bright, especially with increased strength that is sure to happen in college weight-training program.

"He weighs 220 pounds right now. It's a lean 220," said Specht. "They're going to put 20 pounds on that frame and he runs incredibly well for a tight end. He's got great hands. Stephon is going to develop. He hasn't scratched his potential yet."

As for Ashley's decision, Specht wasn't surprised his star running back chose the Cardinals over Virginia.

"I think Darius in his heart knew that was where he wanted to go all along," Specht said. "I think he did his due diligence before he finally made his commitment. I think he's at a good place. He's always liked Louisville. From a selfish perspective I'm excited he did it because I'll be able to go watch him play more consistently. And I think that had a lot to do with his decision, aside from the fact that he really liked Coach Kragthorpe and the (Louisville) staff. It's closer to home, they obviously play good football, but it's closer to home and his friends and family will be able to see him play."

Ashley narrowed his list down to Louisville and Virginia over one month ago. A decision has been imminent for weeks and had been wearing on the young standout.

"I think in the whole recruiting (process) the hardest thing for kids to do is to have to call the other schools and let them know that he's made a decision and that he's going somewhere else," Specht said. "I know the colleges will move on but it's hard for the kid to do that. I do know that was weighing on him. In retrospect, there is never a right or wrong time to make a decision."

Specht said Ashley has no doubts about his decision to play for Louisville next season.

"He's been wanting to make it for a couple weeks now and I told him after things had gone on for about two weeks – I finally just said you need to be fair to everybody involved here," Specht said. "You need to let Louisville know you want to commit to them and you need to let the other schools know you're committing to Louisville so they can all move on. It was the right thing to do. And I told him, ‘if there's anything in your mind – any reason that you shouldn't do this - if there's any doubt, then you should wait.'

But he said ‘no, there's no doubt.' And I said, OK ‘let's get it over with."

Now the Cardinals will continue to work – and wait - on the 6'5, 230 pound Scruggs.

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