The class of 2017 is officially blowing up right now- in the hip, good way, not the bad way. In a period of three days, we've had three commitments. Hendon Hooker, Aundre Kearney, and today we received one from Lloyd C. Bird linebacker Rayshard Ashby. Ashby is rated at three stars by Scout, Rivals, 247, and unranked by ESPN. He's been offered by JMU, ECU, Maryland, and WVU. Ashby is the fifth commitment for the class, and the fourth for the defense, and the third from the state of Virginia. Thought to be a longtime VT lean, Ashby will come on next year to a linebacking corps that needs both depth and talent.
Tape review time!
Rayshard Ashby (Chesterfield, VA. 215lbs, ~6'-0". Inside Linebacker)
VA Preps named Ashby their player of the year for 5A. First team all-state for the VHSL, and, well, accolades go on and on. Why is he rated so low? He's only around six feet tall, which is short for a lot of universities. I think he's underrated, definitely. His highlights are basically everything I liked about Eron Carter's plays last year. He's got a head on his shoulders and does a very good job at anticipating the play. I'd say he's faster than Carter is, though obviously carter had the more ‘ideal' frame. I DO think he actually rolls into coverage well, and again, I like the tackling form, generally. Usually it's head up, body forward. He does a great job of not being caught up in the trash in the middle when he comes on blitzes, which is key for his size. The cool thing is if you're going to be a shorter linebacker, you've got to be built like Ashby is, and that's like a fire hydrant- I mean that in the best possible way. You've got to bring solid mass with you to tackle, and he's got it- and it looks like it's muscle, judging on how he hits like a truck.
Welcome to the Hokie class of 2017, Rayshard!