Standing 6'4 and 285 pounds, Ashley is one of the top prospects in the Midwest region. Playing at both end and tackle this past season, he racked up 74 tackles, 22 tackles for loss, and 10 sacks in earning All-State honors. Not surprisingly, recruiting attention has come from far and wide, and Ashley could boast offers from the likes of Oregon, Ohio State, and Penn State up to this point.
Hoping to make an impression on the Trojan coaches in person, Ashley traveled out west to attend the Trojan Camp this past Monday and emerged as one of the stars while working under the watchful eye of defensive line coach Ed Orgeron. Possessing great quickness to go along with his ideal size, Ashley was dominant in the one-on-one drills. But was it enough to earn him an offer?
"Yeah, they offered," said Ashley who was told he could play at end or tackle at USC. "They offered and they said to think about it, and I have been thinking a lot about it. They're a huge school. I'm obviously very interested. That's about where it stands now."
Ashley has maintained for awhile now that he's wide open in regard to his recruitment, so much so that he's hesitant to name off any leaders, but he did reveal that the newest offer from USC has made quite an impact, "Oh yeah, definitely," he said. "They're definitely in my top-5, and probably will be until the end. The National Champs, you can never count them out. They're doing really big things, and Pete Carroll, Coach O, and Coach Kiffin seem very interested in me, and I'm very interested in the program so I could never count out USC. And it was by far the nicest campus that I've seen."
Orgeron, in particular, looks to have made a big impression and Ashley obviously enjoyed the opportunity to learn from the emotional coach, "He's a really great guy," he said. "He's the best coach I've seen. That's the kind of coach I want, one just like he is. If I could ask for it, that would be my ideal coach definitely."
Somewhat of a new name to Trojan fans, Ashley has actually been hearing from the Trojans for quite awhile now, "Coach Kiffin started recruiting me during my junior season," he said. "He's from here and we were playing the high school he was going to, so I think he came up here to visit some old friends or something like that, and I guess he heard about me through that, and then we've just been in contact since then. And then in May, him and Pete Carroll called and also came to the school. So I've been in contact probably for 6 or 7 months."
There's also a family tie in there. Ashley's father, who goes by the same name, played in the NFL for the Minnesota Vikings during the same time that Carroll was on the staff as a coach, "Coach Carroll coached d-backs and my dad was a linebacker so they worked together before," he explained. "They've talked quite a few times. They stay in touch and they're pretty good associates. My dad kind of got me interested in the fact that they were National Champions. He said Coach Carroll is a wired up guy and he gets the job done. He's just a good all-around guy, a good person, and a good coach."
Ashley, who also took in a camp at Minnesota earlier this summer in addition to the Nike Camp at Penn State, said that he might take an unofficial visit to Virginia later this summer, but other than that he has no plans to attend anymore camps.
"Obviously I want a good education," explained Ashley in discussing his priorities in choosing a school. "I want to get a degree and I want the degree to mean something. Football only lasts so long. After football I plan to work a job, and I want it to say on my job description, ‘degree from USC', and I know that will wow people. So I look for that. Location, you know, I live in the North so I'm kind of sick of the winters so I kind of want to go somewhere hot, maybe down south or out west. And the depth chart, obviously, I want to play. I don't want to just go to college, just sit on the bench and then go to school. I want to get some time and benefit the team. And the coaching staff, definitely."
Although he hasn't set up any official visits yet, Ashley plans on getting to work on that in the very near future, "I know for a fact, definitely I'm going to take one to USC," he said. "I told my coach to print me off a schedule of our games. I'm going to schedule it around that, so once I get that I'm going to start trying to set them up. Miami is another school I want to visit."
Intent on going through the process, Ashley won't be making a decision anytime soon in regards to his college destination, but he did reveal that the college of his choice will know a long time before the public does, "Probably after my trips I'll let the school know because I told a local T.V. station that I'd announce on their show, so I guess I'm not supposed to really make it public, but the school that I'm going to commit to will know long before then," he said.
Walker Lee Ashley goes through drills at the Trojan Camp