Recruiting: Don't Forget About Ash

No sugarcoating here, defensive tackle prospect Richard Ash out of talent rich Pahokee, Fla., is a longshot for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. But after talking to Scout's Southeast recruiting analyst Yancy Porter and then my conversation with Ash on Wednesday evening, it isn't over for the Cowboys or anybody just yet. It may be a long shot, but OSU is still in the race.

Ash is 6-4, 270 pounds and runs a scintillating 4.85 in the forty. He had 80 tackles and four sacks last season as a junior. Those tackle numbers are very high for a defensive tackle.

Besides an offer from Oklahoma State he has offers from Florida, Florida State, South Florida, Florida International, Tennessee, West Virginia, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Southern Miss, Iowa State, Louisville, and Minnesota. There are others and just this week he received an offer from the other coast and Southern Cal.

"Southern Cal offered me this week," Ash told Porter on July 6. "I just like them because I have a strong relationship with their DL coach, and I know they are a big time program that can send you to the league. They are on top of my list now."

Even over Florida and FSU? "USC is my top school now. They moved ahead of FSU and Florida."

Which schools are still in the running? "It is really Southern Cal, Florida, West Virginia, and LSU now. That is my top four and I am looking for a fifth."

LSU is a new school on the list. "They have a good program for linemen. They get a lot of linemen to the NFL. They get a lot of first-round draft picks on the DL."

West Virginia has been in the game for a while now. "I have a good relationship with Coach Snyder."

Okay, that is where my conversation picks up with Ash. I called to check and see if his interview with Porter meant that the Cowboys were off his radar.

"No, I haven't talked with Coach (Robert) Gillespie in a while," said Ash to us over the phone. "I know he got married. I really like him. He is a good guy and I checked out and saw Coach Gundy, the new facilities, and the highlights from last season. Unless I say a school is eliminated then they are still alive."

Ash has set a date of Aug. 28th, the first game of the season for Pahokee to make a decision and he says he is still set on that date.

Are they going to be good this season? "Every year, every year," said Ash laughing. "We are always good."

Ash said he is working out and taking on0line classes to try to get ahead in school. He also hopes to maybe visit a few more schools, although Oklahoma State might be a little out of range. He did say he enjoyed the Florida camp and meeting up with an old friend of ours in former Iowa State coach Dan McCarney.

"He was an energetic guy," said Ash. "A lot more energetic than I thought he was going to be. He really loves his Mountain Dew."

Ash is a tremendous player and Gillespie has recruited him along with wide receiver De'Joshua Johnson and also a few others trying to open up that rich and talented area for the Cowboys.

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