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College Football Notebook: Ex-Texas QB Ash medically cleared to play football again

Associated Press Published: March 18, 2017 4:00 AM

In a stunning change of direction, Texas officials announced Thursday that former quarterback David Ash has been medically cleared to play football again and will participate in UT's pro timing day on March 28.

No other information was distributed by UT, and a team spokesman said Ash would address reporters at the upcoming workout for NFL scouts.

Ash retired from football in September 2014 after suffering from a series of concussions. His last appearance as a Longhorn came in the 2014 season opener against North Texas.

Ash played the entire game but did not attend the post-game news conference. Later that night, he called trainers and said he felt nauseous and dizzy. The UT training staff refused to grant him clearance to play again, and on Sept. 17, 2014, Ash announced his retirement.

Ash posted a 15-7 record as a UT starter with 4,728 passing yards, the eighth-highest total in school history.

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"What I told him, that's been our concern the whole time," former coach Charlie Strong said at the time. "There was no way we were going to let you back out on the field. We were going to be concerned about your health."

Ash later told the American-Statesman, "I think I've met my quota for tears for the next 10 years. At the core of my heart of hearts, I knew I shouldn't be playing."

Now, Ash may feel rejuvenated. Or, he sees former UT legend Vince Young getting another shot in the Canadian Football League and figures why not?

The devout Christian, who openly quotes Scripture, tried to make it with the UT baseball team. Then-coach Augie Garrido allowed Ash to throw some bullpen sessions with pitching coach Skip Johnson. Nothing serious ever panned out.

At the time, UT quarterbacks coach Shawn Watson said, "He had mentioned he was really getting bored. He's missing athletics."

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It's unclear what chance, if any, Ash has at landing a pro football contract. Any team would take a long, hard look at his medical history before clearing him to play. But by working out at pro day, Ash is signaling that he at least wants to try.

"It's been hard," Ash said in an emotional press conference on Sept. 22, 2014. "I'm at peace with that. God has given me a peace. And I have a lot of hope and a lot of belief that there's still awesome days ahead for me."

Former Michigan player Lewis charged with domestic violence

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Former Michigan cornerback and NFL prospect Jourdan Lewis has been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence after authorities say he assaulted his girlfriend.

Lewis was arraigned Thursday in 15th District Court in Ann Arbor, where a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf. Lewis' lawyer John Shea told the court that the 21-year-old man has denied the assault allegations in interviews with police.

The charge is punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine. He was freed without bond and is scheduled back in court April 12.

Lewis is accused of assaulting his girlfriend at his Ann Arbor apartment. Police responded about 1 a.m. Wednesday and the woman told officers there was a physical altercation.

Florida QB Luke Del Rio to have surgery on throwing shoulder

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Florida quarterback Luke Del Rio is to have surgery on his throwing shoulder Wednesday.

Coach Jim McElwain says "it's not major," adding that Del Rio is getting his right shoulder "cleaned out."

Del Rio had surgery on his left shoulder in January. He hasn't practiced this winter, allowing freshmen Feleipe Franks and Kyle Trask to split repetitions. Franks, Trask and possibly Del Rio are to compete for the starting job in the fall.

Del Rio started six games last season, throwing for 1,358 yards, eight touchdowns and eight interceptions. A college journeyman who previously attended Alabama and Oregon State, Del Rio missed two games early last year because of a sprained left knee and sat out the final five after injuring his throwing shoulder at Arkansas in November.


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