Ashley McConnell has a lot of talent and he will taking that talent to Notre Dame in August. He can't wait for that opportunity and he is busy working out sometimes three times a day in anticipation of his new life in South Bend.
Ashley won't miss Adairsville. "There are only about 500 kids in my school. The town is real small. We just got a Subway (sandwich chain) here but I haven't eaten there yet. The place only has one red light. Not a stop light but a red light. The people are nice but there won't be anything to miss around here but my Mom."
Ashley says there isn't much to do around Adairsville. "I don't know what there is to do here. Most kids play football so they work out a lot. I work out two or three times a day. I do the program Notre Dame gave me in the morning and then I go back at night and work out usually doing some running and agility stuff. When I get home, I usually do more drills in the front yard if I'm not playing basketball."
Ashley can't even find a quarterback to throw him the ball. "I had a friend that was throwing to me a lot but he hurt his elbow. I know Notre Dame is going to throw to the backs a lot and I want to work on my hands this summer but my friend hurt his elbow. We went out yesterday again to try to work out but his elbow started hurting again so now I don't know who is going to throw to me. I'll find someone but it won't be a quarterback."
McConnell is so excited about going to Notre Dame that he braved an 18-hour bus trip both ways to attend the Notre Dame spring game. "I just wanted to get back up there. Being at the spring game made me realize how close it is. Pretty soon I will be out there with those guys. Watching those guys hit made me realize what kind of shape I need to be in. I am working very hard to get there. I've been working hard my whole life for this and I'm not going back. Once I leave Adairsville, I'm not going back to live there. I chose Notre Dame so I wouldn't have to go back."
McConnell doesn't hate the place or the people, he just wants make sure he has options in life. "I've set my goals high. I want to be a star at Notre Dame. If you don't set your goals high, you will never reach that level. Some people are perfectly happy living here, I want to go out and see what else is out there."
McConnell says he weighs 235 pounds right now. "I haven't gained weight but I've slimmed down while building muscle. I've worked hard on their program and I want to be in the best shape I can be in. My Mom wants me to get a job but I would rather focus the whole summer on what I need to do when I get there. Come July, it's full throttle though. I am only going to focus on football and getting into the best shape I can."
As for his goals, Ashley says he has set a few. "I want to be a star. I want to help out the team in any way I can. I also want to graduate so I will make sure I do that."
McConnell seems very excited about reporting to Notre Dame. He is working hard and counting the days until he can leave Adairsville. Ashley was quick to point out it was nothing against the town or the people, he just wants to see what else is out there for him to discover.