On the hottest day of Camp Higher Ground, I sat down with Virginia native, Defensive End #55 Caleb Ashworth. In case you hadn’t heard, now be advised that the Bearcats brand continues to grow in the Commonwealth of Virginia. Redshirting last year, Ashworth joined a handful of Virginia natives already on the UC squad.
Co-Defensive Coordinator and Defensive Line Coach Robert Prunty, a Chatham VA native, led Gretna High School’s football team to multiple Virginia state championships. Of the current roster of approximately 19 defensive ends and tackles, five of them are from the Commonwealth. If you’ve observed Coach Prunty during practices or games, you know that he pushes his D-line guys hard. Something tells me he might expect even more out of his guys from Old Dominion.
Caleb grew up in Dry Fork, Virginia, roughly 8 hours away from Clifton. Caleb knew junior defensive tackle #94 Chris Burton before he got to campus, and the Virginia connections have helped him get adjusted.
The 6’3” 255 lb. freshman tallied 386 tackles, 36 sacks, and 9 forced fumbles during his career at Tunstall High School. He was a 3-star recruit and ranked the 37th best player in the state. He chose UC over Maryland, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech.
He says camp is going great so far, and hopes to contribute this fall. Despite weighing 250+ lbs., Ashworth has good speed. It will be interesting to see how he figures into the mix this season and in seasons to come. He could add some weight to his frame and move to DT, or continue to compete on the edges. If he works at it, his mechanics and precision (combined with his frame) could provide him with some opportunities to make a big difference on the defensive side of the ball.
Off the field, Caleb knows he wants to go into business or finance, but hasn’t pinpointed his major quite yet. When he’s not on the football field or in the classroom, he enjoys watching Netflix and playing video games, Battlefield in particular.
A genuine guy, Caleb said that while he misses his VA family, he loves to surprise his parents with an unannounced visit on occasion.
Caleb’s number one goal for the season is to win ball games. We are excited to watch him develop; the future looks bright for Mr. Ashworth.
By Andy Smith