Rayshard Ashby was one of the better linebackers in all of college football in 2019. The 5-foot-10 senior from Chesterfield, Va., led the ACC in tackles and won the league’s “linebacker of the week” award on five different occasions.
Inexplicably, Ashby was not even a first-team All-ACC selection. Ashby had to settle for second-team honors after being an honorable mention selection in 2018.
On Monday, Ashby received some national respect as he was named the Butkus Award watch list for 2020. The Butkus Award honors the nation's top linebacker at season's end.
In the last two years, Ashby has played in a total of 25 games — making 24 starts — and compiling 225 tackles, including 26.5 for loss, six sacks and five forced fumbles. He's been one of the top linebackers in not only the ACC, but in the country.
Ashby is one of five ACC players out of 51 selected to make the Butkus Award watch list.
His former defensive coordinator, Bud Foster, was fired up for Ashby.
The news about the Butkus Award is the latest news to come Ashby's way, as he was also named to the SI Publishers' Preseason All-ACC Team this week.
If we have a football season, expect another huge year from Ashby, as he continues to anchor the Hokies in the middle of the defense.
And if Tech meets expectations that most expect, Ashby will be a major part of the equation on defense, and could end up being a factor in the Butkus Award at season's end.