David Ash Ready To Live Life

Last week, Texas coach Charlie Strong announced fourth-year quarterback David Ash was walking away from football after concussion symptoms returned from a head injury that caused Ash to miss 10 games in 2013. On Monday, Ash talked about his difficult decision.

David Ash had everyone laughing through his obvious pain Monday when he said - with his new free time after giving up football because of continued concussion symptoms - "Maybe I'll get a girlfriend."

What's the rush? He doesn't graduate until December.

Shortly after word got out from his press conference Monday that he might soon be looking for a love interest, Ash's former freshman roommate, senior CB Quandre Diggs, tweeted, "He needs one!"

"I'm gonna miss Quandre," Ash said, "because that dude speaks his mind."

Ash spoke his mind Monday. He thanked all the Texas fans - and even some Oklahoma fans  who reached out to him with warm wishes.

He said he'd heard from Mack Brown, Kevin Durant and even Archie and Cooper Manning (after Ash served as a counselor at the Manning Passing Academy).

"It's been a tough couple of weeks - a tough year," Ash said. "There's so many people who reached out to let me know they were praying for me. It helped me find strength throughout this whole ordeal."

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After four years of highs and lows as a quarterback at Texas, Ash said he wanted to be remembered as a person, not a football player. 

"I'd like people to remember me for what's on the inside," Ash said. "My faith - not my football."

But Ash let us all know what football meant to him by talking about a bush just outside of the church he grew up attending in Belton.

Ash said he used to stuff his football inside of that bush, starting when he was 6 years old, just before Sunday services began. He did that so he could grab that football as soon as possible after church "and start playing with it without having to get my dad to unlock his car."

Ash saw that bush this past weekend and tears began to flow, knowing his childhood dreams involving football were over for the sake of his long-term health.

"I've met my quota for crying for the next 10 years," he smiled, again choking back emotion.

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Ash said Monday he knew - deep down - when he began suffering headaches and dizziness after a victory over North Texas in UT's season opener that his football career was over.

But Ash said he appreciated Charlie Strong and Texas going through what Ash called "due diligence" with medical professionals to give him time to come to grips with the reality.


"I worked really hard. I gave it everything I had. I have no regrets," Ash said. "The doctors told me, 'If you were my son, I would not let you play.'"

After what he called "day seven or eight of just having a headache all day and dizziness," Ash said he didn't need Strong to tell him that the Texas coach was never going to let him back on a football field. Ash already knew.

Ash has been reading about head injuries being blamed by former NFL players and their families for everything from complete memory loss to depression to premature death.

"I read that stuff, and it's concerning," Ash said. "I haven't had memory loss."

Then, he smiled and said, "I've always been this slow."

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Ash said he leaves football the same way he came into it - dedicating everything to his faith.

"My sins, my failures, my concussions, even death - nothing will affect my relationship with Jesus," Ash said. "God has given me peace."

Ash was asked for a favorite highlight from his time on the field at Texas, which included a 13-4 record in his last 17 starts. 

"I had a lot of dreams and goals - goals I believe, if I had remained healthy, I would have accomplished," Ash said. "But there's so much good life outside of football."

That's when Ash talked about finding a girlfriend.

So, here's to that. Here's to love and laughter.

Ash said he'll continue to be around his teammates and had nothing but praise for his replacement, sophomore QB Tyrone Swoopes, along with the following advice: "Enjoy it. Work hard. Working hard is fun."
 
Here's to David Ash living a long and healthy life full of working hard and having fun because of a difficult decision to walk away from something he loved, emboldened by his faith.



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