Ashby Decides On Baseball At Kent State


Bruce Hefflinger
PBR Ohio Senior Writer

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Ashby Decides On Baseball At Kent State

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Connor Ashby

Class of 2021 / SS

Player Information

  • Graduating Class: 2021
  • Primary Position: SS
    Secondary Position: RHP
  • High School: North Canton
    State: OH
  • Summer Team: Brownlee Lookouts
  • Height: 6-1
    Weight: 175lbs
  • Bat/Throw: R/R

Statistics

Position
6.93
60-yard
(06/03/19)
80
INF Velo
(06/03/19)
89
Exit Velo
(06/03/19)
Position
60-yard
6.93
INF Velo
80
Exit Velo
89

Ashby Decides On Baseball At Kent State

NORTH CANTON - Football or baseball?

Connor Ashby had a decision to make and the North Canton Hoover High School junior has made it.

“I looked into the future and which I thought I’d have a better future,” Ashby reasoned. “It came down to that I would rather be hitting a 95 mile-an-hour fastball than be hit by a 250-pound linebacker.”

The winner is Kent State, which offered the 50th-ranked 2021 last summer.

“I started talking to them my freshman year,” Ashby reflected.

But there were 10 football offers to weigh since then from not only Mid-American schools Central Michigan, Toledo, Bowling Green and Miami, but also Kent. Youngstown State, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Dartmouth, Notre Dame College and Missouri State round out the football schools that were hoping to land the Division II first-team all-state quarterback.

A father who is the head high school baseball coach at North Canton helped throughout the process.

“He played baseball at Kent on the ‘92 MAC championship team,” Ashby said of his dad Bryan. “He’s been very important to me. He knows what I’ve been going through with the recruiting process and kept me grounded … working hard. I’m thankful to have him.”

Other coaches, younger brother Mason as well as his mother Kristen were also influential along the way in helping Ashby on his baseball journey to Kent State, with Penn State and Ohio State additional schools under consideration.

“They liked my feet and how athletic I was,” the 6-1 175-pound shortstop said of Kent. “They said I have a very high potential to play at the next level and they’ve had a very high success rate of progressing players.”

With business a potential college major, the 3.6 student feels there is a lot he can bring to the baseball program at Kent State.

“Energy, leadership, athletic ability, good character and high focus,” Ashby listed as traits he believes he will be able to provide the Mid-American Conference school.

Being a football player translates well to baseball in the eyes of the 16th-rated uncommitted junior at the time of his decision to attend Kent State.

“Playing football you have to be tough,” Ashby related. “I can bring that toughness onto the diamond. As a quarterback, you have to be a leader and I can bring that leadership to shortstop.”

Basketball was also in the equation until this school year.

“This is the first actual offseason I’ve had,” Ashby noted. “I took off basketball to get ready for baseball. I improved my swing and glove and also my agility and speed.”

While football remains part of his high school life, Ashby looks forward to what he can do once baseball is his lone sport when college comes around.

“I’m very excited to see what I can do once I focus on just one sport,” Ashby admitted. “I’ve never had an opportunity to do that.”

After all, sports have been part of his everyday life since his childhood.

“I’ve wanted to play college sports since I was little,” Ashby reflected. “I was just never sure which sport. Baseball was always my favorite sport during baseball season and football was my favorite during football season. But this season I decided I wanted to play baseball.”

College interest began early for Ashby.

“When I first started getting calls from college coaches I started to realize that maybe I was going to get an opportunity to play a sport in college,” Ashby explained. “In eighth grade I talked to the Malone coach. My dad knew him and he said that I could play at the next level. That’s when it started becoming realistic. I was excited about that.”

Now that long recruiting process has come to an end with a commitment to Kent State.

“I thought it was really fun,” Ashby said of his recruitment. “It was cool getting to know all the coaches that are interested in you.and building relationships with coaches at all the schools. I’m just thankful to all my teammates, coaches and family for helping me through the process."