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Ashby Cribb, A Coach on the Field

By Barry Every
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As a sophomore he led the Bobcats in receptions with 57 grabs for 920 yards and ten touchdowns, earning Region VII-AAA First Team honors.

Leaving a successful program, Bluffton (S.C.), which set the South Carolina state record for scoring in 2016 couldn’t have been easy. Especially considering that fact Coach Ken Cribb and his family headed to Georgia to take over a team that had gone through three coaches in the last three seasons while accumulating (12-24) record.

One of those family members was Coach Cribb’s own son, Ashby. As a sophomore he led the Bobcats in receptions with 57 grabs for 920 yards and ten touchdowns, earning Region VII-AAA First Team honors. He even left his mark as a freshman playing on the varsity squad catching 16 passes for 224 yards and four scores.

Well, the move went smoother than anyone would have surmised. Ashby led Jesup (Ga.) Wayne County in receiving this past season with 54 catches for 769 yards and a whopping 14 touchdowns. His efforts helped guide the Yellow Jackets to a (10-2/4-0) record and a Region Championship.

His hard work did not go unnoticed, again earning First Team All-Region. He was also named Wayne County Offensive Player of the Year by “In the Game Magazine”, as well as being recognized by his own coaches as the Jackets’ Receivers and Captains Award recipient.

“He is a great blocker that runs perfect routes, Ashby is going to beat that DB and catch the football,” Coach Cribb said. “He’s my son and sometimes I discriminate and spread the wealth, but when we need him, we go his way. He’s a coach on the field and a leader.”

Ashby is also no slouch in classroom boasting a 3.55 core GPA, which ranks him 51 out of 329 students in his class. He has yet to take an ACT or SAT, but is scheduled for both in February and March.

With the late move the younger Cribb was unable to attend any college camps this past spring or junior days during the season. So his recruiting is still an open book. So what kind of prospect can college recruiters expect?

Having witnessed his ability, twice, to release off the ball and find the soft underbelly of the defense one would have to think there is a spot at the FCS or FBS level for a sure-handed playmaker. At 5-foot-11, 175-pounds he shouldn’t be considered too small to have an impact at the next level.

“I’d like to play at a big program like Clemson,” Ashby said. “I’m the type of person that will play anywhere; I simply want to contribute in any manner to help my team win games.”

Right now Valdosta State is the lone school that has shown some interest, but Ashby aspires to be a difference maker at a higher level.

“I’ve seen him fold linebackers in half while blocking,” Coach Cribb said. “He is a motivator, that simply doesn’t do kid things. For his size he is one of the strongest guys on the team with a 250-pound bench press, 415-pound squat and a 280-pound power clean.”

Probably Ashby’s toughest critic is himself. He is simply the guy that wants the rock when the game is one the line.

“I need to continue to work at everything, my speed, grip strength and separation,” Ashby said. “I’m good at getting the release, but I need to work on my secondary speed in order to pull away from defenders. I’m already working on stretching with our Strength Coach Tommy Adams to lengthen my stride.”

In past seasons Ashby participated in both basketball and baseball, but this spring he will be taking part in track and field. He plans on working on the 100-meters, but admits his best events are probably going to be the 200 and 400-meters.

He also has role models that he would like to fashion his game after.

“I look up to players like Julian Edelman, Hunter Renfrow, Ryan Switzer and Wes Welker,” Asbhy said. “I can relate too not always being the biggest or fastest guy. But I can make up for any deficiencies with my grittiness as a player. My dad always says pride, character and worth ethic equals success.”

In January Coach Cribb will be taking his son to the First Annual Border Bowl which pits seniors from the South Carolina Low Country versus Georgia’s Coastal Empire. There he will actually assist his father as one of the coaches on staff.

This says a lot about his commitment to football and desire to succeed. Even when not playing his willingness to help others improve shows dedication, determination and most importantly the desire to continually learn all aspects of the game of football. Ashby is truly a coach on the field that will one day leave his mark on the collegiate game.