Ask Aschoff 7/8

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I’m on a plane to Memphis as you read this (if you’re reading this Wednesday afternoon). I’m heading back to Oxford, Miss., to see the mom and help her move some things around before taking off to New York for the first time in my life. No worries faithful Ask Aschoffers, I’ll have my regular blogs going each week and of course Ask Aschoff will be up and running each Wednesday. On to the questions!

A lot of rumors about Florida taking Richard Ash off their board. A lot has been made out of him not showing up to UF’s camp in shape. Will Richard Ash attend FNL and what’s your opinion on this situation?
– gators3xchamps

Ash has said time and time again that Florida is his top school. He even told me earlier this summer that he’s planning to commit to Florida but wants to take his visits along the way so that he can be “wined and dined.” But recently, Ash had a change of heart, naming USC as his new leader. We haven’t been in contact much over the last week, but I can’t say I’m surprised by this. USC offered, and Hollywood is a very attractive home for college athletes. However, I did talk to someone who recently spoke to Ash, and he said Ash’s workout at Florida’s camp might not have been to the coaches’ liking.

I watched Ash at Florida’s camp a couple weeks back and yes, he didn’t look as in shape, but it’s also the summertime and spring football has been over with for a while. He looked a little slow and tired, but displayed a frame that probably builds a lot of muscle fast. Not everyone was in the best shape and that’s to be expected in June. Things change when kids start going to more camps as the month progresses and July comes around. Speaking of July, Ash was supposed to work out at Friday Night Lights, and when I spoke to him last that was the plan. I haven’t heard anything different, but anything could happen between now and late July.

As far as how Florida might be taking to Ash, I still think Florida’s staff is looking at him, but if he didn’t measure up at camp, he might have fallen a little on the big board. Defensive line coach Dan McCarney was pushing him harder than the other prospects out on the field, which is a sign that he’s looking to see more out of him than prospects who might not be as high on the board. McCarney was especially looking to tweak his technique a little. He and Ronald Powell were McCarney’s focus for the afternoon that I observed. But if Ash doesn’t feel as though he performed well enough for the coaches, then he probably didn’t.

Louis Nix’s status shown in Scout was recently changed from “soft verbal” to “verbal.” Does that mean he had reaffirmed his commitment to Miami?
– Eugene

The more I talk to people about Nix, the more lost I get in predicting where he might end up. He told the Florida Times-Union that he wasn’t sure how committed he was to Miami and whether he would even sign with them if he had to right now. He recently got an offer from Mississippi and is now considering Florida, FSU and Ole Miss along with Miami. I talked to him at Florida’s camp but only briefly. He said he was having a good time working out and really likes UF’s staff. He’s supposed to be in Gainesville for FNL and will be at the Seminole Showcase at FSU the week before. In all honesty, I think only Nix knows what he wants – even if I don’t really think he does right now. He could be committed to Miami today and then 30 percent committed tomorrow. Who knows at this point?

Who are the top defensive players on Florida’s board? And how many of those do you think we end up signing?
If Mack Brown is so high on Florida’s board, why is he rated as the #50 player and #7 running back on Rivals.com? Does Meyer see something they don’t, or is that just all we can get?

– gator4life94

I listed my top five players in last week’s Ask Aschoff, but I didn’t mention who I thought would end up in Florida’s class.

Nice, gator4life94.

For those of you who might have forgotten, my top five was as follows: Powell, Jeff Luc, Ash, Nix and Lynden Trail. After going back I might have to substitute Ash for Atlanta, Douglass defensive tackle Garrison Smith. Smith has been bringing up the Gators more and more recently and he could be the best defensive tackle in the country. At first I thought he was a Georgia lock, but he’s talked up the Gators a bit more this past month. I spoke with him earlier this week and he said his communication with Florida’s coaches has been good.

Powell has been high on the Gators since day one and since his visit to Florida’s camp in early June, he’s maintained that it’s a battle between USC and Florida. He’s hoping to make it back for FNL.

Last week I said Florida seemed to be a slight favorite for Luc, but it’s been hard to get a hold of him since. The linebacker has been all around the state and has a good relationship with the position coaches at each school, but I still think the relationship he has with Florida defensive coordinator Charlie Strong is a big plus for the Gators. He’s looking at playing time and trying to graduate early, so with Brandon Spikes leaving and Florida’s habit of taking early enrollees, the Gators’ chances are good.

I spoke about Ash and Nix earlier in this blog, so I’ll go to Trail. He and I spoke last week, and he’s all about Florida. If he weren’t looking around to be absolutely sure, I’d mark him down as a Gator commit right now.

So with all that said, I’d go with Trail, Luc and … Powell. He could play both ways at Florida (tight end) and he could be the guy that puts Florida over the hump with getting California kids. Tough to get him out of USC’s backyard though.

As for Mack Brown, who is arguably the top priority on Florida’s board, his ranking isn’t so sexy is because he doesn’t go to a lot of camps. If Rivals and Scout.com people can’t see him at combines, then he won’t get ranked as high as some of the other running backs. You gotta perform in front of the scouts to boost your rankings. He’ll get that chance at FNL this month.

I’d like to see what an updated 40 time would be for him. He’s got a 4.38 now, but he just doesn’t look to have that speed when I watch his video. I haven’t seen him live and video can be misleading, but I’d be interested to see what he gets later this month.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Edward, which “off the radar” players, on the UF board, do you foresee dramatically improving their recruiting rankings/stock between now and Signing Day? Are their any sleepers out there who could shoot up the rankings after the camps and their senior seasons?

  2. Hey Ed. This is arguably Urban Meyer’s best start on the recruiting trail in his tenure. I am curious as to why he has been targeting safeties. Will Hill was a 5 star recruit while Dee Finley was a top 10 recruit overall according to ESPN. Add in Josh Evans a 4 star recruit aren’t we set behind Major Wright and Ahmad Black? We have commitments from Jonathan Dowling, Matt Elam, Jordan Haden and Demar Dorsey has been listed as a safety sometimes. Could Dowling at 6-3 grow into a LB?