Offensive tackle Calvin Ashley committed to the Auburn Tigers Saturday, and the program's future front looks much more intimidating because of it.
The 6’7” and 307-pound Ashley is a 5-star prospect, per 247Sports’ composite rankings, and the No. 4-ranked overall player in the 2017 recruiting class, the No. 2-ranked offensive tackle and the No. 1-ranked player in the state of Florida. This is a major coup for the Tigers, and they staved off impressive competition to land Ashley’s services.
Ashley took two visits to Auburn within two months and discussed his decision, per Keith Niebuhr of 247Sports: “It’s so much relief that I can now stick to one school and be very happy. ... I'm very happy. I brought my whole family here this weekend just so I could do that here with the coaching staff. I'm very, very happy.”
Given that Ashley is an Orlando, Florida, native, it is really no surprise that a number of SEC and other Southern schools demonstrated interest throughout the recruiting process.
Florida State, Alabama, Miami, Ole Miss and Florida were all involved at some point, as well as other national powerhouse programs such as Ohio State, Oregon and Michigan, per 247Sports' list of interested schools.
The first thing that jumps out about Ashley is his sheer size, especially for someone who is not set to attend college until 2017. It is scary to think how much better he could be by the time he possibly grows even more and arrives at Auburn.
Best of luck to SEC defensive coordinators trying to devise a way around him with a pass rush.
Ashley is a powerful force, clears lanes for the rushing attack and keeps his quarterback safe because of his athletic ability. He demonstrates solid lateral quickness for his size and could compete for immediate playing time in the SEC.
Barton Simmons of 247Sports noted how important this commitment was for the Tigers:
Another benefit for Auburn is the fact Ashley will not arrive until 2017. He has plenty of time to potentially help the coaching staff convince other recruits to join him on the Tigers, which could eventually leave this class as one of the nation’s best.
Ashley can also focus more on improving his game rather than sifting through a number of other distracting offers since he joined Auburn so early in the process.