Players look forward to those big games where they go up against a team that is tabbed as one of the best, regardless of which level of athletics you play on.
Pahokee (Fla.) defensive tackle Richard Ash knows that first hand, and that’s why there was never any doubt as to which weekend he wanted to return to Baton Rouge for his official visit to LSU.
“Man, I knew it was this weekend,” Ash said. “Florida and LSU is big, but now you have No. 1 vs. No. 4 and both teams are undefeated; that’s as big as you can get.”
Ash, a 6-foot-4, 270-pounder and ranked No. 46 in the country at his position, says he is still finalizing his itinerary but he plans on arriving in Baton Rouge on Friday.
This will be his second trip to the LSU campus in the past two and a half months as he took an unofficial trip back in July.
On that visit Ash said that he got to see the Cox Academic Center for Student Athletes, and he saw all of the athletic facilities that LSU players have at their disposal.
There isn’t much that he hasn’t already taken in on the LSU campus, but there is one thing that he can’t wait to do on Saturday.
“I just want to get in that stadium and see how live it is,” Ash said. “I saw how big it was over the summer, but I want to see how crazy it is with 92,000 people in the stands. I heard it’s something that you never forget.”
West Virginia received one of Ash’s five allotted official visits when he took a trip to Morgantown the second weekend in September. He says that UCLA and Oklahoma State stand a “good chance” of getting an official visit as well, but for now his mind is focused on the upcoming getaway.
“That’s all I’m really thinking about right now,” he said. “I got a lot of time to set the others up. I’m just thinking about that game this weekend.”
LSU wide receivers coach D.J. McCarthy is recruiting Ash for the Tiger staff, and he spoke with the three-star tackle on Friday as they continued to work on the specifics for his trip.
Ash says that he and McCarthy have grown close throughout the course of the recruiting process. They spent a little time together over the summer when he made it to Baton Rouge, but their time was limited due to the camp that was being conducted.
This weekend, however, Ash figures to get to spend more time with McCarthy, as well as defensive line coach Brick Haley and head coach Les Miles.
“They all seem like good guys and good coaches, so I just need to spend more time with them,” Ash said. “That’s another reason for going back.”
During the time that he will spend at LSU Ash figures that he will see whether or not Baton Rouge is a place he can call home for the next four or five years.
“A good football town and a place where I get along great with my teammates,” Ash said. “That’s what I’m looking for. I want to win and I want to get better so I can take my game to the next level.”
Making it to the National Football League is very important to Ash, and he says that is one thing that always comes to mind when he catches himself thinking about LSU.
“They produce a lot of D-linemen,” he said. “They produce a lot of players that go on to the NFL and they win. That’s just what I’m looking for.”
Is there any chance that Ash calls Baton Rouge his next home before he heads back to South Florida?
“I don’t know,” he laughed. “We’ll just see how things go.”
Note: Ash could not recall any stats from his senior season but Pahokee is 4-1.