The football career of former Texas Longhorns quarterback David Ash might not be over after all, as Brian Davis of the Austin American-Statesman reported on Thursday that Ash will participate at the Texas Pro Day later this month after receiving medical clearance to return to football.
Horns Digest reported that Ash will work out as a punter — he has been working out with a former NFL kicker since November after earning all-state honors in that role in high school.
Ash retired from the game in September of 2014 after suffering a recurrence of his concussion symptoms following the season opener against North Texas, including dizziness and headaches.
After missing two games, Ash officially retired.
The end of his once-promising Longhorns career came after he suffered multiple concussions in 2013 that caused him to miss most of the season.
Since then, he’s been largely focused on getting his Master’s degree, but admitted last spring that he still misses the game.
"A lot of times I think I miss it the most at the beginning of whatever season it is," Ash told CBS Austin. "When spring football begins, for example. I think I miss it when I'm with some of my former teammates throwing the ball around."
And, sure enough, spring football is here and the Belton product is apparently feeling the desire to kick again.
In 29 career games for Texas, Ash finished eighth on the school’s all-time passing yardage list, leaving lingering questions about the heights to which he could have ascended had he stayed healthy.
Likewise, the loss of Ash was a big early blow to the head coaching tenure of Charlie Strong, in addition to perhaps being the difference in Texas winning the Big 12 title in 2013, which could have helped Mack Brown keep his job.
So as the repercussions of Ash’s concussions and ultimate retirement still resonate around the Forty Acres, scouts will receive at least some insight into what he could have been with a little better luck and a little better health.
Ultimately, Ash’s response last season when asked about whether he would allow his children to play the game foreshadowed the comeback he’s now attempting.
"Absolutely," Ash said. "I don't think we should live our lives in fear. Let's not live life thinking what bad things could happen. Rather, let's live life thinking what awesome thing could happen."