The already stout 2021 class for the Wisconsin Football program gained a surprise commitment in 3-star cornerback, Al Ashford III.
While the buzz was still swirling around the Wisconsin Football program landing 5-star offensive tackle, Nolan Rucci, earlier last week, the Badgers – and from the sounds of it, just about everyone else – were surprised to receive a new commitment on Friday.
Wisconsin’s already stout 2021 class would land their second cornerback commit – along with Ricardo Hallman – in 3-star prospect, Al Ashford III from Englewood, Colorado.
According to 247Sports Crystal Ball Predictions, Ashford was expected to choose Colorado, with Kansas State in second place. Ashford had over a dozen other offers and picked up some additional Power 5 offers earlier this week. Rarely in today’s recruiting landscape, do we see surprises like this one, so much so in fact, that Ashford’s parents didn’t even know what school he was going to choose.
In a story told by Ashford on the Locked on Badgers Podcast, a few Badger coaches were at his high school watching tight end prospect Gunnar Helm when they met Ashford and were impressed with his size and speed. A scholarship offer would shortly follow.
Ashford is ranked as the 136th best corner in the 2021 class by 247Sports Composite rankings and 14th overall in the state of Colorado. He’s coming off a 2019 season where he posted 21 tackles, including two for a loss, along with four pass breakups and an interception.
At 6’1″ – 170 pounds, he has excellent size as highlighted by Blair Angulo of 247Sports in a quick breakdown of Ashford’s game:
“The 6-foot-1, 170-pound prospect has a high-upside frame with length and room to add muscle mass. He’s a wiry defensive back with plus-plus IQ and situational awareness and is competitive near the line of scrimmage and comfortable in one-on-one scenarios.
Ashford projects as a potential multi-year starter at the Power Five level later in college career with future team captain type leadership.”
The addition of Ashford provides an unexpected boost for the 2021 Wisconsin recruiting class that was already on pace to be the best in program history, likely surpassing the 2020 calss. This group currently has one 5-star commitment, five 4-star commitments – which ties a school record set by the 2020 class – and they’re ranked 16th nationally and third in the Big Ten Conference at the moment.
Ashford becomes the 18th hard commit in the Badgers’ 2021 class.