DT Walker Ashley to Enroll at USC ... Again

Walker Ashley, a 6-foot-5 defensive tackle from Eden Prairie (MN) High, has decided that he will play at USC next season, according to sources close to the situation. Ashley had told GoldenSports.net in August that he would enroll at Minnesota in January and play the 2006 season. Ashley, who picked USC over the Gophers in high school, was unable to be academically certified by the NCAA Clearinghouse as a freshman and returned to Minnesota, where he had been working out with a personal trainer.

Walker Ashley was expected to add depth to the defensive tackle spot this past season, which was the Trojans' biggest question mark following the departure of All-Americans Shaun Cody and Mike Patterson and the recently departed Emmanual Wright, who entered the NFL's supplemental draft.

Ashley was considered the state's top prospect and was named Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year. Ashley, who led the Eagles to a 10-1 record this past season, picked the Trojans over Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State and Oklahoma. Ashley played every position on the defensive line and led the Eagles in sacks. He was also an All-Metro first-team pick last season.

Ashley is the son of former Minnesota Viking and Penn State Nittany Lion Walker Lee Ashley. He told GoldenSports.net that he would take the college entrance test in October and would be with a personal trainer in the next few months. He had planned to enroll at Minnesota for the second semester before his change of heart.

Ashley announced his decision to enroll at Minnesota at the final Gophers scrimmage before their season opener.

He was considered the biggest recruit to head to Minnesota since the hiring of Glen Mason. However, several Gopher insiders were concerned that Ashley would land at USC or Ohio State and some followers wondered if Ashley was worth the recruiting headaches.

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