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Ashton Stredick: A Walk-On Who Can Run

October 28, 2020
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Cal freshman running back Ashton Stredick might be buried on the depth chart right now, but the walk-on from rural Texas probably will not stay there long. 

The statistics he accumulated at Needville High in a small burb about 40 miles from Houston are mind-boggling. 

If someone put up those numbers in a video game you’d swear they were cheating. 

But there they are: 6,420 yards and 88 touchdowns on 637 carries, averaging 10.1 yards per rush and 200.6 yards per game. He had 100 or more yards in a game 26 times,  with, 17 of 200 or more, seven of 300 or more, two of 400 more and a playoff game with 508 rushing yards with touchdown runs of 76, 62, 39, 74 and 90 yards. More on that game later. 

“You don’t put up numbers like that by accident,” Cal head coach Justin Wilcox said.

The 5-9, 165-pounder caught the attention of college recruiters, although the number of offers was rather modest given his stats. An excellent student he committed to Princeton as a junior. “I was originally going there because I liked the things they were doing there and I was a big school guy, and academics is very important to me,” he said. “I was going there based on academics and my life after football.”

But before long he had second thoughts and withdrew his commitment.  Princeton certainly filled the bill academically, but Stredick decided he wanted a place more serious about football than the Ivy League.

“I changed my mind because football means a lot to me and I just wanted to play on a bigger stage,’ he said. “And I still wanted high academics.”

Cal, which had expressed an interest, checked all those boxes. “Back in the summer of my junior year I visited and really liked the Berkeley area and the weather was pretty nice,” he said, “It was like a no-brainer. Coach (Nicholas) Edwards and I had a good relationship and I knew it was a heavy academic school that played big football. 

“It was a little bit of both (football and studies) that made my decisioin. It wasn’t one way or the other.”

“We recruit the west coast but there are times when there is a really good match throughout the country whether it’s Texas or somewhere in the South,” said Wilcox when asked about Cal’s relationship with Stredick.

“Especially if it’s somebody who is a really good student and a really productive player. He had other options in terms of where to play college football. 

“We sure liked his tapes, knew what kind of student he was, and then got a chance to see him and his family.”

Cal Athletics
Ashton Stredick 

Stredick said he had offers from some other schools, including Baylor, Air Force and Army. 

He walked on at Cal, knowing the school’s history with walk-ons. Two of the Bears in the NFL, Ashtyn Davis and Patrick Laird were initially walk-ons,

“When we recruit a walk-on, we think in our mind that person will have an opportunity to earn a scholarship, that caliber of person and player,” Wilcox said.”He’s one of those guys.”

And he could move in that direction sooner rather than later. He is currently in the developmental practices, but attracting attention 

“I think there is a chance he will get on the field soon,” offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave said. “Everyone is going to have to pull their weight. Everyone is going to have a role and will have to do their part when they are called upon. Ashton is one of those guys. He’s got amazing quickness. So far he has looked like he can catch the ball adequately….He is doing a nice job. He has a lot of juice.”

Running backs coach Aristotle Thompson has his own definition of “juice”.

“Ashton, now, he's got some heat. If you don't know what I mean by heat, he is fast,” Thompson said. “We got some little things we're going to continue to work on and push him, but Ashton is fast.”

Stredick could also get work on special teams returning kicks and punts. He did some kickoff returns in high school until his coach thought better of it. “I didn’t get a chance to break one because I got pulled off,” he said. “The coach didn’t want me to get hurt.”

Smart man, that coach, whose intelligence was also demonstrated in that above-mentioned playoff game against Canyon Lake.

“That game it started off fast,” Stredick said. “On the first play I broke for a touchdown. ...But then two of our players got ejected and the coach said. You are going to have to take this on.’

“And I said, ‘OK, I got this.’ “

 He certainly did. 

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Discussion from...

Ashton Stredick: A Walk-On Who Can Run

3,489 Views | 16 Replies | Last: 25 days ago by 59bear
calumnus
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I am now a huge fan. Reminds me of Justin Forsett. Great to have him at Cal as part of our great walkon tradition. Hope he kills it and earns a scholarship. You can't teach speed and quickness and I've always been a proponent of small, fast, elusive backs in the college game.
sefton
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Well, there's Kansas State's Deuce Vaughn - 5 foot 5 and about the same weight.
Ever hopeful and it seems like forever.
heartofthebear
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calumnus said:

I am now a huge fan. Reminds me of Justin Forsett. Great to have him at Cal as part of our great walkon tradition. Hope he kills it and earns a scholarship. You can't teach speed and quickness and I've always been a proponent of small, fast, elusive backs in the college game.
Good comparison.
I'd definitely feel good about Forsett v.2
UrsusTexicanus
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"Back in the summer of my junior year I visited and really liked the Berkeley area and the weather was pretty nice,"

Considering how miserable Houston summers are, Bay Area weather is a great selling point.
burritos
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508 yds and 5 tds in one game. I'm guessing that's a lot of yard by Texas standards. What is it Austin or Ashton?
burritos
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sefton said:

Well, there's Kansas State's Deuce Vaughn - 5 foot 5 and about the same weight.
https://calbears.com/news/2013/4/17/208198815.aspx

Joe Igber 5-8 190.

calumnus
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sefton said:

Well, there's Kansas State's Deuce Vaughn - 5 foot 5 and about the same weight.

Darren Sproles was 5'7" 170 at KState
HoopDreams
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" Two of the Bears in the NFL, Ashtyn Davis and Patrick Laird were initially walk-ons"

We had a third walk-on that went to the NFL ... WR Chad Hansen
71Bear
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HoopDreams said:

" Two of the Bears in the NFL, Ashtyn Davis and Patrick Laird were initially walk-ons"

We had a third walk-on that went to the NFL ... WR Chad Hansen
Over the years, Cal has had a number of walk-ons make it to the NFL. However, the article cited those who are currently playing.
59bear
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I'm intrigued by this guy. Putting up numbers of that sort in a premium HS football area (even if not at an apex program) is impressive.
01Bear
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How fast is he? Is he Jahvid fast? Desean fast? Ashtyn fast? Bigelow fast?

Who is a good Bear comp re speed?
calumnus
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01Bear said:

How fast is he? Is he Jahvid fast? Desean fast? Ashtyn fast? Bigelow fast?

Who is a good Bear comp re speed?


Looking at his videos he doesn't look to have that kind of straight line speed. One article said he was clocked at 4.48 in the 40 last year. It is his quickness over the first 10 yards and his decisive cuts and balance that make him effective. Justin Forsett 5'8 175 2 stars out of Texas (4.62 40 time pre-draft) is who he reminds me of. A LOT.
BearForce2
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Joe Igber comes to mind, he had some moves without the high end speed.
burritos
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Jacquizz Rodgers was 5'6" 4.52. Didn't have many HS highlights. What exists wasn't super pog. Not Jahvid or Brendan B eyepopping highlights.


burritos
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59bear
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If he's as good as Igber or even half as good as Forsett or 'Quizz, he'll help!
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