WASHINGTON, D.C. -- St. John’s (Washington, D.C.) five-star offensive tackle Calvin Ashley is committed to Auburn, but he is being actively recruited by nearby Maryland and considering an official visit to College Park, Md. Terrapin Times was on hand at the 6-foot-6, 310-pounder’s game Sept. 3 against American Heritage (Delray Beach, Fla.) to evaluate the future left tackle.
Our take on Ashley’s game is below:
Immediately, Ashley’s physical frame catches the eye. On a field full of elite recruits, his 6-6-plus, 310-pound frame stood out at left tackle for St. John’s. And to go along with the height and thick base, Ashley possesses pole-length arms and a pair of big mitts, ideal for a top-flight blindside blocker.
As far as his game is concerned, Ashley boasts superior athleticism for a prospect his size. First of all, he has quick, nimble feet, allowing him to slide with elite defensive ends and readjust to blitzing linebackers. On top of that, he keeps those fast feet firing when drive blocking, which helps him open holes on run plays.
Secondly, Ashley moves well in space, picking off defenders on outside runs and designed scrambles. He’s adept at pushing past the first level and then finishing at the second level.
The Florida native has standout strength too. With the help of his base, his lengthy arms and his active hands, he’s able to stalemate bulkier rushers, turning them away from the quarterback. Ashley can flat out knock defenders off the ball as well, sometimes ending with a pancake.
All of the above is aided by Ashley’s initial quicks. Many wide-bodied tackles tend to be a bit methodical setting up, but Ashley rapidly enters his stance in pass pro and readily gains a step advantage when run blocking.
It should be noted that Ashley’s a heady tackle as well, someone who seems to understand defensive tendencies and how to execute high-level blocks. He worked well with his left guard, for example, on combo blocks, while showing the ability to pick up extra rushers off the edge.
To improve, though, Ashley must keep working on his pass-pro technique. His kick-slide needs refining, and at times he lunges for defenders instead of staying patient.
Ashley also tends to play high once in awhile. He needs to consistently keep his pads low so defenders can’t get under his pads.
Finally, Ashley must continue adding strength and toning up his body. He has a terrific frame now, but high school linemen could always stand to add more muscle.