GoMids.com continues its review of the 2012 8-5 Navy Midshipmen's season, position-by-position.…
Player Profile Series: Thomas Ashcraft
Size: 6-5, 315
High School: Cedar Hill
Recruitment: Ranked as a four-star by most recruiting services, Ashcraft was a two-time All-State selection, an Under Armour All-American and a member of ESPNU's top 150. Ashcraft held offers from Baylor, Oklahoma, Texas A&M and others but ultimately settled on Texas before transferring to SMU this spring.
2012 Review: As a reserve for Texas, Ashcraft played in 13 games at guard and on special teams, where he was part of the field goal unit.
Throughout his career at Texas, Ashcraft appeared in 35 games. But he never quite lived up to his All-American billing.
2013 Outlook: Like quarterback Garrett Gilbert and running back Traylon Shead, things just didn't work out at Texas. But that doesn't mean he's a bad player. The Longhorns haul in classes full of four and five-star prospects every year and although that doesn't always equate to wins, competition for starting jobs is fierce.
Don't expect Ashcraft to be another Stavion Lowe. Remember, when Lowe came in, he hadn't played football for a couple of years and was an academic risk. Ashcraft has been training vigorously at a Big 12 program and actually saw playing time every year he suited up in burnt orange.
SMU has an immediate need at guard. Whether Ashcraft winds up on the left side or the right side will be determined during fall camp. But definitely do expect him to be a walk-in starter. Right now, Sam Rice and Kris Weeks are penciled in as the starters.
Rice has tons of potential but is still young and inexperienced. A year behind Ashcraft may do him some good. Weeks is somewhat of a mystery. He hasn't seen the field, but it appears he added weight in the spring and looked much improved before summer kicked off. Both are currently sophomores since Rice did not redshirt last season. If forced to pick a side, Ashcraft would start ahead of Weeks.
As mentioned, Ashcraft should be a walk-in starter for SMU this year. But it should also be noted that he's not only a great add to this program but also this institution. Ashcraft was a member of UT's Athletics Director's Honor Roll, part of the National Honor Society in high school and a Baylor Hospital volunteer.
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