Ashley Discusses In-Home Visits

With five days to go before national signing day, Minnesota DT Walker Ashley is welcoming in coaches for one last sales pitch. Click here for what he had to say about USC's Pete Carroll as well as a visit by a pair of OSU assistants.

Eden Prairie, Minn., defensive lineman Walker Ashley has spent time this week welcoming in coaches from his top four choices.

On Monday, Ashley (6-4, 290, 4.8) welcomed in USC head coach Pete Carroll and several assistants. Then, on Wednesday, Ohio State assistants Dick Tressel and Jim Heacock were on hand. On Friday, Penn State head coach Joe Paterno and a Minnesota assistant will come by.

"I will probably still announce on signing day," Ashley said. "I will probably get to school in the morning and sign my letter-of-intent and send it in."

Where do things stand right now?

"Right now, in the serious running, I would say it's USC, Ohio State and Minnesota," Ashley said. "But Coach Paterno is coming up here. He is the only head coach who has not been here yet and some things could change after that."

When pressed for a favorite, Ashley said, "I would say USC a little bit. They have a slight lead."

Regarding Carroll's visit, Ashley said, "He was here with three or four assistant coaches. He went over the depth chart and where things stand. They are thin at defensive tackle and he said, coming in, there is a good chance I could play next year.

"He also talked to me about not worrying about leaving home and they look after you academically out there."

Ashley also reflected on the visit by the OSU assistants.

"We just talked," Ashley said. "It wasn't like they were recruiting me to play football. They were trying to get me to come to school there. I like the way they handled this with me. They have been very professional with me and I get a good vibe from them."

Ashley's father, Walker Lee Ashley, was a defensive end/linebacker for the Nittany Lions from 1979-82. He helped PSU claim its first national championship in 1982 before going on to a seven-year career with the NFL's Minnesota Vikings.

"It is kind of neat that Coach Paterno is coming here to see me and I look forward to what he has to say," Ashley said.

Ashley is rated as the No. 19 defensive tackle prospect in the nation by and as Minnesota's No. 3 overall prospect.

He 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. He was named the Minneapolis Star-Tribune metro player of the year.

"I'm pretty quick for my size," Ashley said previously. "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.

Click the link below for a look at video of Walker Ashley.

Walker Ashley Video

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