Louisiana D.E. Commits to NU

By: The Times Picayune Email
By: The Times Picayune Email

Louisiana Defensive End Walker Ashburn is the latest high school football player to commit to the University of Nebraska.

Ashburn, of Curtis High School in Red River, Louisiana, verbally committed to Nebraska Coach Bo Pelini via telephone Monday afternoon.

“I decided to commit to Nebraska,’’ Ashburn said. “It has always been known as a good school and a good football program. Coach Pelini being there was something that attracted me. And I have a friend (and ex-teammate), P.J. Smith, who goes there. He told me how nice it was there. Everything I’ve heard is that it is a real nice place and that they treat you nice.’’

Ashburn, 6-feet-3, 250 pounds, runs a 4.75 in the 40 and is Nebraska’s seventh commitment for 2010.

Pelini, LSU defensive coordinator from 2005-07, and Nebraska coaches project him as an end in their 4-3 scheme, a position similar to the end position he plays in Curtis’ 5-2 set. Nebraska was the first school to offer Ashburn back in March.

Ashburn chose Nebraska from a list that included Oklahoma State, Stanford, Southern Methodist and Southern Mississippi.

A three-year starter, Ashburn is rated among Louisiana’s top 40 senior prospects at No. 36 by Rivals.com. He bench presses 355 pounds, squats 520, power cleans 315 and was a first-team Class 2A All-State selection as a junior.

Ashburn is fully qualified academically with a 3.6 grade-point-average and a 19 on the ACT that he scored as a sophomore. He said he plans to take the test again.

“I had been giving it a lot of thought,’’ Ashburn said of his college choice. “I wanted to use this weekend to see how each of the teams performed. Now (committing) is something that I don’t have to be concerned about any more. I want to try to help us win another state championship and try to excel in the classroom.’’

Ashburn is the second Curtis player in two years to choose Nebraska. Smith, a redshirt freshman who is listed as the No. 2 strong safety, was a member of Pelini’s first recruiting class at Nebraska in February 2008.

Ashburn recorded 90 tackles with 12 sacks and three forced fumbles as a junior while helping Curtis win a fifth consecutive state championship and the 23rd in school history. A three-year starter, Ashburn was chosen Most Valuable Player in the 2007 state championship game.

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