Shawn Asbury’s favorite cornerback in this past year’s NFL draft class was Jeff Okudah. So when Okudah, now a member of the Detroit Lions, posted a video singing the praises of Boston College head coach Jeff Hafley, it resonated.
So too did the daily communications from Hafley and his Eagles assistant coaches, who pursued Asbury tirelessly despite his previous commitment to Virginia Tech.
“They talked to me every day, and it wasn’t really about football at all,” Asbury said in a phone interview. “It was just about life and what a degree can get you.”
Ultimately, that changed the recruiting conversation for the North Stafford senior, who unexpectedly flipped his commitment from the Hokies to the Eagles on Friday night.
Asbury plans to sign his National Letter of Intent during the early period that begins Dec. 17. He’ll forgo a coronavirus-shortened senior season and enroll early.
Despite missing six games last fall while rehabbing from a torn ACL, Asbury returned to lead the Wolverines to another regional title. Uniquely dangerous with the ball in his hands, he earned second-team All Area honors at kick returner.
In the 5-foot-10, 170-pound Asbury, the Eagles are getting a physical playmaker in the secondary, said North Stafford coach Neil Sullivan.
“Shawn’s very old school in terms of, he loves contact and is an excellent tackler,” Sullivan said. “Even when he was playing offense, he was a great blocker. He’d bring the physicality.
The Boston College coaching staff made it clear that they plan to utilize Asbury’s skillset early and often.
“They actually envision me coming in and playing early on defense and in the return game,” Asbury said. “That was huge.”
Asbury said he informed Virginia Tech of his decision a day prior, on Thursday, and had a follow-up conversation with the Hokies staff on Friday. More than any failing on Virginia Tech's part, Boston just seemed like a better fit than Blacksburg.
Hafley's NFL bona fides didn't hurt, either. Before taking the job at Boston College, he served as co-offensive coordinator at Ohio State and previously had coaching stints with the Tampa Buccaneers, Cleveland Browns and San Francisco 49ers.
“I just made my decision with what I felt like was right in my heart and for my family,” Asbury said. “I just feel like I have a better opportunity with coach Halfley’s resume.
"He’s coached a lot of great guys and gets a lot of first-rounders, too. With him being able to coach me, you can’t really ask for anything better than that.”
Joey LoMonaco: 540/368-5045
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