The Michigan Wolverines may have just popped up on the radar of Keller, TX lineman Nick Ash, but they’ve made the most that limited time. Area recruiter Jay Hopson dropped in on the youngster’s school recently and left a message with his coach that made it clear that the Maize & Blue was definitely interested.
“Coach Hopson came down to my school the week of May 5th,” Ash recalled. “He wanted me to come up to the barbecue just to meet the other coaches and stuff. He also wanted me to come out to camp. I had an open weekend, so me and my dad were able to do the barbecue and we flew up there.”
One of the most memorable aspects of Rodriguez’s spin on a spring junior day was the relaxed atmosphere during the event.
“It was cool,” Ash said. “I’d never been up there, so we got up there a little bit earlier. We got a tour of the campus and stuff. Then we did the barbecue. We got a little tour of the weight room and the tunnel walk. It was really laid back. We had a chance to sit down, meet coaches, and meet other players they’re recruiting. It was cool.”
During his conversations with the Maize & Blue staff, Ash was able to get a better feel for the recruiting picture for the offensive line.
“They’re looking for four offensive linemen,” he said. “Coach Hopson really liked me. He hasn’t had a chance to show coach Frye the tape yet, but I had a chance to talk to Coach Frye and he seemed pretty interested. He asked me what (position) I prefer. I played guard mostly all through high school, but this year they’re moving me to tackle. But I also can snap and play center. He liked that I could play anything, so I don’t really know which position I’d play there yet.”
Versatility is but one of Ash’s attributes. He also credits his tenacity as a trait valued by coaches.
“I’m 6-5, 265, I run a 5.2 forty, and I’ve been trained by my coaches to finish every play,” he said. I play the game to the whistle. We base our blocking stuff on finishing every play. I will never give up on a block. I always stick with a block until I hear the whistle.”
At this point Ash holds scholarships from Kansas, Nebraska, Washington State, Texas Tech, Houston, and TCU, but more and more schools are showing interest every day. Based on that offer list it might seem that Michigan (and any school not in close proximity to his home) might be at a bit of a disadvantage. Not so according to the young man himself.
Said Ash, “(distance) doesn’t really matter to me because my dad works for American Airlines. I’m able to hop on a plane pretty easy and get up there (to Michigan) or anywhere. The #1 thing for me will probably be schooling and #2 will probably be how much I like the coaches. The Michigan coaches were really nice. They were easy to talk to and very laid back. That was very cool just to be around.”
Ash indicated that he plans to make his way back to Ann Arbor next month for camp. Based on his decision timeline, that camp, and any other visits he makes during the summer months, will be very important.
“Me and my parents have been talking and we probably want to get a decision done by the beginning of senior year so I can focus on just playing and having a great season,” Ash explained. “I don’t want to really be worrying about recruiting.”
GoBlueWolverine will have more on Ash in the coming weeks.