Kellen Ash had a breakout junior season at Parkway South when he established himself as one of the top pass-rushers in the state.
The 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker, who led the area with 19 sacks, showed his ability to chase down quarterbacks and make plays all over the field.
The Kansas coaching staff liked what they saw on his highlight film and extended him his first scholarship offer. Last week, Ash took the Jayhawks up on that opportunity as he made an early verbal commitment to Kansas.
Ash said he liked the school’s facilities, coaching staff and environment.
“I can see myself making a big impact there,” he said.
Ash made a big impact with the Patriots in the fall. He racked up 87 tackles, including 20 for loss, to go with his 19 sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery and was a Post-Dispatch All-Metro first-team selection.
The speedy linebacker said Kansas offered him a scholarship two days after watching his highlight tape. When he was considering his options for college, he kept coming back to comparing other schools with KU.
“I had to ask myself, how do they compare to Kansas?” he said. “Do I see myself making as big of an impact as at Kansas?”
O’FALLON PITCHER MAKES PLEDGE
O’Fallon senior right-handed pitcher Sam Hopkins made a commitment to Southern Illinois Edwardsville last week.
“I liked the atmosphere at SIUE,” he said. “It seemed like a pretty good baseball atmosphere. The clubhouse is really nice. The coaches and all the guys seemed pretty cool, so I thought that was the best choice.”
Hopkins, who went 10-2 with one save and a 2.24 earned-run average as a junior, had been considering junior colleges as well as Division II Lindenwood University before the Cougars offered him an opportunity.
The pitcher said he was told the SIUE coaching staff wanted to see an increase in velocity and how he performed this spring before making a decision on whether or not to recruit him further.
“They came out and watched a couple games, and I guess they liked what they saw,” he said.
Hopkins has been impressive this spring. He is 5-1 with two saves and a 0.85 ERA over 41 innings in 10 appearances. He has struck out 42, walked 13 and has limited opponents to a .175 batting average.
DE SMET’S WHITE ADDS AN OFFER
De Smet junior Donnie White has an interesting mix of schools recruiting him so far.
The 6-2, 215-pound defensive end/linebacker’s first scholarship offer came from Arkansas in March after making an unofficial visit to the school. That was followed by offers from Wyoming and Western Kentucky.
This week came an offer from Boston College.
How does White view his recruiting?
“Pretty slow, actually,” he said. “About this time I would think I would have more (offers), but I’m being patient. It’s going slow, but it should pick up here in the next month or so.”
White has attracted quite a bit of interest from college coaches that view him as a guy who could play either defensive end or linebacker at the next level depending on a school’s defensive scheme.
“If they run a 3-4, it’s outside linebacker,” he said. “But if they run a 4-3, it will be a d-end.”
Credited with 25 tackles, six sacks and three fumble recoveries during his junior season, White said he will make an unofficial visit to Kansas State this weekend.
TWO SIGN WITH ST. LOUIS COMMUNITY COLLEGE
The St. Louis Community College women’s basketball team signed two local players this week: Diamond Suggs from Cahokia and Kalah Martin from Kirkwood.
The 5-9 Suggs averaged 14.8 points and 2.5 steals per game and knocked down 25 of 83 3-point attempts this winter and was an all-South Seven Conference first-team selection. Martin, also a 5-9 guard, averaged 7.5 points, 3.3 rebounds, 2.1 steals and 2.1 assists per game and was a Suburban South second-team all-conference selection.