On the road again is the theme for Scranton (Pa.) Lackawanna Community College offensive lineman Ashton Julious.
Julious, originally from South Carolina, had to go 10 hours to play juco ball for the Falcons and is now going 15 hours away from home to play for Oklahoma.
Ranked No. 47 in the Scout Juco 100, Julious is one of several mid-year enrollees to arrive in Norman on Thursday.
“I’m a little bit excited,” Julious said. “I’m a little bit nervous. Mostly excited. I’m just ready to get out there. It will be hard leaving the family again, but I’m ready.”
Julious will need to be ready because he doesn’t have a lot of time to make that transition. A two-for-two guy, there is no redshirt year. He needs to get comfortable in the spring and ready to work in the summer and season.
Listed at 6-foot-8, it seems like a given Julious will end up as an offensive tackle. But that’s not set in stone. Even following a visit to Lackawanna by OU coaches Bob Stoops and Lincoln Riley, the message is the same.
Julious is going to work out at guard and tackle and see how things progress. Despite his tall frame, Julious has been quick to say he’s able to stay low to the ground like a guard needs to do. He’s comfortable with either position so it’s whatever OU deems best.
OU seems set at tackle for years to come with Orlando Brown and Dru Samia both starting as freshmen in 2015. Add in former Scout 100 prospect Bobby Evans, who redshirted in 2015, guard actually might be a more appealing option since both starting guard spots will be up for grabs in 2016.
Julious is coming alone, at least for now. The Sooners have been busy in Lackawanna in 2016, offering teammates linebacker Kapri Doucet and safety/linebacker Kyzir White in the last two weeks.
“It’s really exciting to have that happen,” Julious said. “I’ve known those guys for a while and know they can make a big difference, especially Kapri. With (Eric) Striker leaving, I feel he can really be in that spot once he gets some time.”
Julious said he anticipates the atmosphere of being in Norman as the biggest adjustment he’ll have to make. It will be a different mental challenge, too, in terms of preparing for the season. He said the key will be keep his composure, and he’s sure things will work out.
Julious was always an interesting case. OU made the offer in late spring, and you had no idea how much it would resonate. A trip to Baylor in the summer had OU fans worried, and it looked like he might consider staying closer to home in the South Carolina area.
But the Sooners never went away. Julious said OU always used the one call per week thing, whether it was Bill Bedenbaugh, Riley or Stoops. He always heard from the Sooners.
“I started talking to Coach B as soon as I could, and he would always send me stuff,” Julious said. “I started thinking it could be a good place for me, but I needed to see if OU was 100 percent for me. They would always call and keep in touch. I’m excited.”