2006: Ken Ashley

There's a pretty good crop of running backs in Southern California for 2006, and Venice's 5-9, 200-pound <b>Ken Ashley</b> will almost certainly be among them. He has an early favorite school...

Sylmar's C.J. Gable and Dorsey's Stafon Johnson will probably get most of the running back recruiting attention in the City Section this fall, but Venice (Calif.) High running back Ken Ashley (5-9, 200) could also be the focus of good amount of recruiting himself.

With a pair of SEC offers already in his pocket, Ashley is hoping to parlay those into some Pac-10 offers, including one from UCLA.

"I'd like to stay as close to home as possible. I grew up a USC fan, but things change and I'm liking UCLA a lot now," said Ashley.

His two scholarship offers have come the state of Mississippi, with Ole Miss and Mississippi State extending early offers. "I don't really know how I get my first two offers from the same state in the South. But I know the schools. One of our linebackers (Jimmy Miller) is going to Mississippi State next year and (Ole Miss) Coach (Ed) Orgeron knows me from when he was out here (as USC's defensive line coach)," said Ashley. "It would be cool to play in the SEC, but I'm leaning towards staying out here."

Aside from Ole Miss and Mississippi State, Ashley is also hearing from Arizona, California, Tennessee, USC and UCLA.

"My leaders are UCLA, Cal, Oregon, Arizona, Mississippi State and USC. UCLA is my favorite," Ashley said.

UCLA running back coach Eric Bieniemy is recruiting Ashley.

This summer, Ashley will go to both the UCLA and USC camps, as well as the Nike Camp in Los Angeles in April.

As a junior, Ashley ran for 1,816 yards and 23 touchdowns for Venice.

No decision is imminent for Ashley, as he wants to wait to consider all of his options. He said he may wait until Signing Day to announce.

He has a 3.0 GPA and will take the SAT on March 12.

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