|High schoolJohn Curtis|
Ashburn is from the same high school as both Nebraska safety P.J. Smith and former USC running back Joe McKnight, a projected high-round draft pick in April. Ashburn's dad is in charge of facilities for the New Orleans Saints, and Ashburn says he's a lifelong member of “Who Dat Nation.” On what life has been like the week before signing day coupled with the Saints in the Super Bowl, Ashubrn said “wild and crazy.”
“He's got a great motor and he plays hard every snap. I think he'll be a guy that can handle the intensity and pressure in the first year of major college football.” — John Curtis coach J.T. Curtis
A three-star prospect by both Rivals.com and Scout.com, Ashburn was a cog on the line for John Curtis, which reached the Louisana Class 2-A state championship for the second straight season. Tom Lemming of ESPN called Ashburn “one of the hardest working DL prospects” in his region.
Bo Pelini's days at LSU haven't been forgotten. That fact is on full display with Ashburn, who felt comfortable enough to commit to NU without even taking a visit. “Some people will give you their used car salesman pitch,” Ashburn said. “I just wanted someone to be straight with me. That's the kind of people we are down here. And (Pelini) was.” Ashburn threw the shot 54 feet and the discus 154 feet last year. He had offers from Oklahoma State, SMU and Southern Miss, among others. Ashburn was the MVP in the state championship game as a sophomore. Went head-to-head on a daily basis with Arkansas offensive line recruit and John Curtis teammate Luke Charpentier. Was named the Outstanding Player on defense by the Louisiana Sports Writers Association and a first-team All-Louisiana selection by the Times-Picayune.
NU coaches like his tenacity, and it's easy to see why — Ashburn is a load off the edge and he's a winner. John Curtis has played in the state championship game all four years of high school for Ashburn. Don't be surprised if he's in the middle of things for a backup spot at defensive end this season.
These are the players who built Nebraska football.
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