A&M gains interest from offensive lineman

A&M gains interest from offensive lineman

Cedar Hill OL Thomas Ashcraft visited A&M again for last week's "Game Night" camp, but has he made a decision yet? Aggie Websider's David Sandhop caught up with the blue-chip offensive lineman about the recruiting process and where A&M stands after his most recent visit to Aggieland.

As a result of Texas A&M's Game Night Camp this past weekend, several Class of 2009 offensive linemen garnered scholarship offers after the event including Jersey Village's Bobby Janisch and Klein Oak's Clint Naron from the Greater Houston area, and Thomas Ashcraft of Cedar Hill from the Dallas Metroplex area.

The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Ashcraft has already received offers from Oklahoma and Baylor, and he's hearing from virtually every major program in the country including Tennessee, Texas, Florida. Ohio State, and of course the Aggies.

"I'm receiving interest from a lot of schools," Ashcraft said. "Right now, I'm hearing from everybody in the Big 12 and I have a lot of interest in that conference."

Texas A&M initially took notice after Ashcraft's sophomore year, inviting the Dallas area native to its early junior day event in February. Ashcraft came back for the Maroon and White Spring Game and then participated in one of Texas A&M's June summer camps.

"After the summer camp, I guess they liked me and I was invited to the Game Night Camp this weekend," Ashcraft said.

Ashcraft wasn't too familiar about the university and the football program before this spring, but after four visits he's getting a good feel for how the Aggies do things in College Station.

"I knew about A&M a little bit, but I've gotten to really know the people and the university. It's nice," Ashcraft said. "I was most surprised about the housing and how nice it was. It's more like a house with a bunch of stuff to do and not just a dorm room."

The blue chip lineman also spoke very highly about the festivities this weekend at the Game Night Camp.

"It exceeded my expectations. It was more than just a camp," Ashcraft said. "They had it set up just like game day with all the lights and video, and we even had mock interviews after the game."

Ashcraft also enjoyed getting to know some of the elite prospects also in attendance.

"It was great getting to hang out with these guys and compete with them since they are the best," Ashcraft said. "I spent a lot of time talking with Joel Gray (2009 OL) of Hebron and Jeff Fuller from McKinney."

Asked about what makes him such a good offensive lineman, the junior said he has a good feel for the game and is quick on his feet.

"I think I usually have a feel for what the defender is going to do. I think I'm knowledgeable about the game and how to succeed as a lineman," Ashcraft said. "I think I have quick feet and I use my hands well, so I can keep defenders in front of me."

The Cedar Hill product certainly has the physical attributes as a junior to take his game to the collegiate level, running a 5.1 forty and bench pressing 26 reps of 185 pounds. Those attributes were certainly noticed by the Texas A&M coaching staff this weekend.

"I thought I did pretty good, and I guess the coaches thought I did a good job," Ashcraft said. "Coach Franchione and Coach Eggen both told me they were impressed with me and would like to see me play for them some day."

With an offer from both OU and A&M among others, where does Ashcraft see himself in the recruiting process at this time?

"I want to experience the recruiting process since I'm only a junior," Ashcraft said. "I'd like to take a little time and see what happens."

So where does A&M stand in his plans after this weekend?

"A&M is definitely at the top. They've impressed me so far with the facilities and the players they have coming in," Ashcraft said. "They are in my top list for sure."

Ashcraft indicated he really didn't have a favorite college growing up and is just now doing research on his schools of interest. For now, he wants to start focusing on the season at hand.

"I'm through with summer camps and visits," Ashcraft said. "I'm getting ready for the season. We start practices on August 13 and our first game is against Colleyville Heritage I think."



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