There was a time when the lack of players in Utah State’s secondary was concerning.
After all, the Aggies had lost nine players out of their secondary this offseason, including multiple starters.
Since then, though, Utah State has rebounded by adding multiple Power Five defensive back transfers, the first being Colorado cornerback Simeon Harris.
On Tuesday morning, USU got a commitment from a second P5 defensive back transfer, with former Wisconsin cornerback Al Ashford III announcing on social media that he will be transferring to Utah State.
Straight To It🎯 Let’s Work💙🤘🏽@USUFootball pic.twitter.com/r14UmIqeht— AL ASHFORD III (@allashford1) May 16, 2023
A late entry into the transfer portal — he announced his departure from Wisconsin on April 27 — Ashford is a former consensus three-star recruit from Englewood, Colorado (Cherry Creek High School).
Listed at 6 feet, 170 pounds, Ashford spent two seasons in Madison with the Badgers, redshirting the 2021 season before playing four games last year prior to suffering a season-ending shoulder injury.
Part of Wisconsin’s 2021 signing class, Ashford bucked expectations by signing with the Badgers, rather than choosing Colorado or Kansas State.
A multisport athlete in high school — he also ran track and field — Ashford experienced a late growth spurt that saw him grow four inches in a year. It was at that point that Wisconsin became aware of him, while scouting one of his high school teammates.
Ashford then kept his recruitment by the Badgers quiet, surprising nearly everyone on national signing day when he chose Wisconsin.
“Wisconsin was always a dream school,” Ashford told USA Today. “It was a place I could always see myself playing at. Growing up in Rochester (New York), they always loved that ‘beat em up’ style of football, and Wisconsin always had that. It was great that it got to work out the way it did.”
Now headed to Utah State, Ashford fits the model of what Aggies’ head coach Blake Anderson prefers when it comes to four-year transfers, i.e. players with multiple years of eligibility remaining.
Of the six P5 transfers that Utah State has added this offseason, four have multiple years of eligibility remaining, namely Washington State linebacker Gavin Barthiel, Arizona State offensive lineman Ralph Frias III, Harris and now Ashford.