Rich Rodriguez made waves when he became Ole Miss’ offensive coordinator. Then, he signed four-star John Rhys Plumlee, beating out Georgia for the two-sport stud from Mississippi. Now he’s at it again, this time beating out the home state Auburn Tigers and Dan Mullen and the Florida Gators.
Four-star dual-threat quarterback Robby Ashford has committed to Ole Miss and will get to campus and prepare to not only compete with Plumlee and the Rebels’ other 2019 quarterback signee, Grant Tisdale, but he will also join Plumlee on the diamond over at Swayze Field.
The No. 7 dual-threat quarterback in the country chose Ole Miss over offers from Florida, Florida State, Louisville, Mississippi State, Missouri, Oregon, Penn State, Purdue, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt, and Virginia Tech among others.
The newest commit in the 2020 class was dynamic for Hoover High School as a junior, throwing for 2,542 yards and 22 touchdowns and also running for 623 yards and seven touchdowns. On the diamond, Ashford hit .313 with two homers, 27 RBIs and 28 stolen bases in 41 games. He played corner outfield and first base for the Bucs and has really come on after a torn labrum injury his sophomore season. He is ranked rather high as a baseball prospect and could see his status rise if he continues to improve.
This is a huge get for Rich Rodriguez and Ole Miss. Ashford has a ton of high-level offers and has been super productive in 7A Alabama football.
To me, he reminds me a lot of former Alabama prep quarterback and current Tampa Bay Bucs quarterback Jameis Winston. Maybe it’s the dual-sport thing that makes me think of that comparison, but he is an explosive play maker with his arm but he is much more mobile than the former national champion from Florida State.
Who is another comparison? Another two-sport guy that came to mind was former Wisconsin quarterback and current Seahawk signal caller Russell Wilson. Ashford is much bigger than Wilson but the delivery and the running style is quite similar.
Earlier this summer at a Nike Opening Regional event, the 6’2, 198-pounder ran a 4.5 forty-yard dash and jumped 31” in the vertical. The Elite 11 Finals participant is the ideal prospect for Rodriguez in his zone-read, run-heavy offense. He can make all the throws and is not afraid to tuck it and run for a first down. And with that speed, he has the ability to take it the distance as well.
His head coach, Josh Niblett, agrees with me after he essentially said the same thing to AL.com earlier this year in an interview about his dual-sport star.
“Robby is a dynamic kid,” Hoover head coach Josh Niblett said during a 7-on-7 event last summer. “He’s a dual guy. He’s got unbelievable speed and an unbelievable arm. He’s really a good athlete and a good competitor.”
Now, in baseball, it’s a different animal. I mentioned above that MLB scouts like his game and in my opinion, I think they’re waiting to see how he plays this summer and next spring, coming off that labrum injury.
He has the size, bat, and speed to be a corner outfielder and he could potentially creep into day one if a team falls in love with him. But, if he makes it to Oxford and plays both, he could be an impact outfielder for Mike Bianco.
As I mentioned above, I fully expect Ashford to get on campus and immediately compete with Plumlee and Tisdale for a spot at quarterback behind incumbent starter Matt Corral, who will be a redshirt sophomore upon his arrival.