Even though the rewards stacked up for linebacker Rayshard Ashby throughout his career at L.C. Bird High School, there were still some voices in the crowd that said “he’s undersized,” and “he won’t be a star college player.”
Thus far in his starting role for Virginia Tech at middle linebacker, Ashby is proving those naysayers wrong.
In a huge 24-3 win over Florida State on Labor Day, Ashby totaled seven tackles and forced a key fumble early in the game, snatching the momentum in favor of the Hokies. His leadership of a young linebacker corps was pivotal.
For his efforts in that game, Ashby was named ACC Linebacker of the Week. The Hokies used that type of performance from Ashby and company to thump the Seminoles in Tallahassee.
For that performance, Virginia Tech catapulted to No. 12 in the nation.
They then defeated William and Mary 62-17, a game in which Ashby played excellent defense. He made three tackles in a game that the Hokies dominated on the offensive side of the ball.
Ashby and Virginia Tech have two more games that are tune-ups before diving head first into the ACC schedule. The Hokies will host East Carolina on Sept. 15 and then travel to Old Dominion on Sept. 22. They’ll open the ACC slate at Duke on Sept. 29.
Jalen Elliott, who played quarterback for L.C. Bird’s state championship team in the last year of their three-peat, saved Notre Dame from what would have been an embarrassing home loss with two key interceptions from his safety position.
The Fighting Irish ultimately defeated Ball State 25-18, but struggled with turnovers, and turned in an overall poor performance in a game they should have easily won.
Elliott shined, however. The junior nabbed his two interceptions, and both ensuing offensive possessions led to rushing touchdowns for Notre Dame.
He added a season-high seven tackles after recording five tackles in his team’s big week 1 win over Michigan. As of press time, Notre Dame is ranked No. 8 in the nation.
The Fighting Irish will host Vanderbilt this week end, and then travel to Wake Forest in Winston Salem, N.C., on Sept. 22.
The game against Wake Forest represents a good opportunity for L.C. Bird faithful to see one of their best soldiers in action.