Family + Opportunity Led Ash to UM

Pahokee, FL DT Richard Ash committed to West Virginia less than a month ago, but when he made his way to Ann Arbor a few weeks back he knew that decision was destined to change. Today he made that feeling official when he offered his verbal commitment to Rich Rodriguez.

For the third consecutive year the Michigan Wolverines have ventured down to the "the Muck" and harvested some of its riches.  Keyed by the efforts of Michigan QB coach & central Florida recruiter Rod Smith, the Maize & Blue plucked 6-4, 290-lb. DT Richard Ash from the clutches of the West Virginia Mountaineers.  It was a decision that had been in the works since he made his way to Ann Arbor for his official visit a few weeks ago.

"When I took my visit and got a chance to see what Michigan had to offer, that's where I wanted to go," said Ash explaining why he rescinded his West Virginia commitment.  "It was cold up there (laughing).  It was 22 degrees up there, but I can handle it.  (Pahokee high headman) Coach (Blaze) Thompson was saying that I needed to be sure this time.  He wanted me to just to make sure that I was 100%.  I'm sure about Michigan.  He was happy for me.  I was scheduled to visit USC, but I'm not going nowhere else."

Ash had an offer list that belies his three star rating, choosing Michigan over USC, West Virginia, LSU, Tennessee, UCLA, South Carolina, Oklahoma State and a host of others.  There were a number of factors that ultimately worked in the Wolverines' favor, but the one that may have pushed them over the top was their recruiting approach.

"I really liked my visit there, I loved Ann Arbor and the fans, and my teammates are already up there," he stated.  "It was nice knowing that I have family there.  Plus they have a need at defensive tackle.  But it wasn't just that.  They didn't promise me anything.  That's what I liked about it.  They didn't just sit there and say that you're going to come in and play right away even though it's a position of need.  If I just come in there and ball, there's a good chance of me getting in the rotation.  They didn't promise me anything though.  I've just got a good relationship with Coach Smith.  Me and Coach Tall are connecting.  He's a good guy.  Me and Coach Rodriguez are connecting too.  When I committed he said he couldn't stop smiling and that the people around him were jumping around in the office."

With his decision out of the way, Ash is happy that he won't have to dodge his phone anymore.  Among the first people he called with today's news was one of his former teammates.

"I had stopped answering my phone because I didn't want to do any interviews," Ash said.  "I told Vincent (Smith), but I don't have Brandin (Hawthorne) or Martavious (Odoms) phone numbers.  Vince was just saying that he is happy to have some more PK boys up there.  I am too."

Next up for Ash is preparation for the Outback Bowl All Star game.  The game features players from Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast in Florida and will take place January 9th, at 7:30 PM.

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