Ashley Has New Leader After Weekend Trip

Eden Prairie, Minn., defensive lineman Walker Ashley made his official visit to Ohio State this past weekend. Click here for an update on this talented prospect.

Eden Prairie, Minn., defensive lineman Walker Ashley made his visit to Ohio State this past weekend and came away impressed.

"I would say right now, Ohio State is in the lead," Ashley told Bucknuts.com.

Ashley (6-4, 290, 4.8), the son of former Minnesota Viking Walker Lee Ashley, is rated as the No. 21 defensive tackle prospect in the nation by Scout.com and as Minnesota's No. 3 overall prospect. At OSU, Ashley said he was hosted by defensive tackle David Patterson.

"I enjoyed spending time with the players and getting a feel for what they do out there," Ashley said. "I got to meet all the coaches as well and watched them go through one of their bowl practices. It was pretty low key because they have such a long time until they play. But you can tell that they get after it."

Ashley also got a good feel for OSU defensive line coach Jim Heacock.

"I heard he's a pretty fiery guy," Ashley said. "He gets after you and makes you work. When I talked to him, he was pretty cool and calm. He talked to me about how I would fit into the defense.

"They were the first school to offer me. The coaches are really interested in me. They say I'm a high priority for them and I could come in right away and compete."

Ashley said he also enjoyed spending time with some of the other recruits on his visit.

"Specifically, I got in good with Doug Worthington, Rico McCoy and Andre Mathis," he said. "The four of us really hit it off pretty well. They were pretty cool."

Ashley had visited USC Oct. 23 and had considered the Trojans No. 1 on his list. But he said, "I liked Ohio State better."

He has more trips scheduled, however. Ashley will see Minnesota this weekend, Oklahoma Dec. 17 and Penn State, likely, sometime in January.

"I don't know when I'll decide," he said. "I'll do it when I feel the time is right and I've seen all I need to see."

Ashley was a three-year starter at Eden Prairie, helping his team win a state title as a sophomore in 2002. As a junior, he had 74 tackles, 10 sacks and four caused fumbles. This year, his team went 11-1. Ashley finished up with 89 tackles, 14 sacks, 24 tackles-for-loss and six fumbles caused. He also had a touchdown catch on offense.

"I'm pretty quick for my size," Ashley said. "I have my 40-yard time down around 4.8. I'm also pretty strong. I think I'm just a good all around defensive player. I bring speed and power.

"I start the game at nose tackle, but as the game goes on I move out to the three-technique. A lot of the colleges are recruiting me as a defensive end and that is actually where I would like to play. I am pretty quick and fast off the line. I have a good burst which allows me to get a good pass rush off the edge. I would say that my sacks are split 50-50 up the middle or off the edge."

Ashley, who benches 330 pounds, holds a 2.5 GPA and scored a 19 on the ACT.


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