Richard Ash, the 6-foot-4, 270-pound three-star defensive tackle from Pahokee, Fla., has over 20 scholarship offers and three favorites.
Ash, ranked as the No. 46 defensive tackle in the country by Scout.com, said he now favors South Florida, USC and LSU "solid" over Minnesota, UCLA and West Virginia. All of his favorites have offered.
"I went to the LSU camp (this summer)," Ash said. "I really like them. They have a great history of putting d-linemen in the league."
Despite living only two hours from South Florida, Ash says that distance will not be a factor. "I don't care if I'm far away from home," he said. "As long as I'm in a good football town and comfortable.
"But it's pretty cool that USF is pretty close," he said. "Plus, it's a great opportunity to contribute early.
"I have a real good relationship with their defensive line coach (Kevin Patrick)," Ash said. "He's 100-percent real with me and I feel like I can trust him. He really wants me at USF and thinks I could be a great player for them."
Another coach that has made a good impression on Ash is USC's defensive line coach, Jethro Franklin. "Coach Franklin is a great guy," he said. "I feel like I could talk to him about anything. He's the guy I'd call if I wanted to talk to someone."
Besides coach Franklin, Ash says he likes USC's performance on the field. "They are a winning program. That's what they do," he said.
While he says he has a good relationship with coach Franklin, it was actually the offensive line coach (Pat Ruel) who recently called him. "We only spoke for a few minutes," he said. "He was just checking in."
While admitting his three leaders, USF, USC and LSU, are the teams to beat, he says that he's still very interested in visiting both Minnesota and UCLA.
"I have a teammate (two-star offensive guard Doral Willis) that committed to Minnesota," Ash said. "So I want to go up there and check them out. I know they are losing like six defensive tackles, so the opportunity to play there is great."
An opportunity to play early is also a reason he likes UCLA. "They haven't signed any defensive tackles in the last two recruiting classes," he said. "They really need some d-linemen and I like my chances there.
"I've also heard it's a pretty nice location," Ash said of Westwood.
Ash says he doesn't have a timeframe for making a decision, but will likely take all of his official trips.
Pahokee High School open their 2009 season tonight, Sept. 4, against Atlantic.
Ash reports a 2.5 core GPA and a 16 ACT, which he will retake.