ORLANDO, Fla. — If Auburn still has competition for 5-star commit Calvin Ashley, it’s Maryland.
Ashley’s family moved from Florida to Washington D.C. prior to his senior season so the 6-foot-7, 325-pound offensive tackle could play at St. John’s College High. With the move, the home-state Terrapins began to make a push. That included a December official visit and multiple in-home visits during the contact period.
It caused some concern on the Plains. But Ashley received his last in-home visit of the December contact period from Herb Hand and Scott Fountain.
That meant enough for Ashley to tweet out that he ended his contact period “right.”
“It was nice. Auburn came right after the (Maryland) visit. It was great for them to show the love. They came the last date of the deadline. That’s just family. We just hung around. It was great to have coach Hand and coach Fountain there,” Ashley said at the Under Armour All-America media day. “That was real nice.”
The Terrapins still haven’t been ruled out despite Ashley’s commitment to Auburn since June 2015.
Since his parents moved to D.C., the proximity of College Park, Md., gives Ashley’s family a much more realistic opportunity to watch him play his games. Ashley “wants his family to be able to watch” him play.
His parents will likely stay in the D.C. area, though they’ve considered the possibility of returning to Florida where Ashley grew up. If the latter happens, Auburn really has nothing to worry about. Even if his parent were to stay near Maryland, Auburn remains in strong position to maintain its highest-rated commitment.
“(I’m) very solid, very solid,” Ashley said.
Something else of note: Under Armour All-America game participants have the choice to wear a state-related shoe with a special design. Ashley hasn’t decided whether or not he’ll wear the “highlight” kicks yet, but if he elects to do so, he knows which ones he’ll sport.
“If I do want to wear the highlights, I’m going to wear the Florida sunshine state. Those are sweet,” Ashley said. “I’ve got to rep my home state.”
It might be too much reading between the lines, but Ashley considers Florida home. So Maryland’s “home-state pull” is primarily based on where his parents live, which isn’t even something that is set in stone. That should be considered positive news for the Tigers.
In fact, when Ashley uses the word “home” regarding his recruitment, it’s only when he’s talking about Auburn.
“With Auburn, it’s just the school that I like, period. It just feels like home, period,” Ashley said. “I have a great relationship with the coaching staff, players, fans.”
Ashley hasn’t been to Auburn since June 3 before he moved from Florida to D.C. He will return with his mother for his official visit on Jan. 20, which has the potential to be the official close out to the 5-star prospect’s recruitment.
It will be Auburn’s star-studded official visit weekend, and the Tigers will work to ensure Ashley isn’t going anywhere.
“I just want to get back to my place,” Ashley said. “I want to get back to Auburn and have fun, hang around. Just get to used to the place again since I moved 13 hours away. I just want to renew everything.”