Walker Ashley to become a Minnesota Gopher

Walker Ashley, a 6-foot-5, 285-pound defensive lineman from Eden Prairie (MN) High, will finally become a member of the Minnesota Gopher football team. Ashley, who was named Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year, will sit out the 2007-08 season and have three years of eligibility remaining.

Walker Ashley played every position on the defensive line and led the Eden Prairie Eagles in sacks. He was also an All-Metro first-team pick.

Ashley signed with USC in February and spent the summer working out with the Trojans. However, he he had some issues with the NCAA Clearinghouse and returned home to Minnesota before USC fall camp began. He pledged to Minnesota after a Gopher intra-squad scrimmage on August 21, 2005.

Ashley decided in late November to enroll at USC and played this season as a freshman. However, he elected to leave the team after finishing the season with just one tackle. There had been speculation that former Minnesota head coach Glen Mason did not want Ashley after he decided to renege on his Gopher commitment.

New head coach Tim Brewster extended a scholarship offer to Ashley's friend Willie Mobley, who is a junior at Eden Prairie. Ashley is expected to enroll at Minnesota in the summer and participate in summer drills.

Ashley is the son of former Minnesota Viking and Penn State Nittany Lion Walker Lee Ashley.

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