Texas quarterback David Ash to miss Saturday's game due to concussion-like symptoms

Sep 1, 12:38 PM

After a good start to the season with a 38-7 win over North Texas, the Texas Longhorns got some bad news heading into their Week 2 matchup with BYU on Saturday.

Head coach Charlie Strong announced in his Monday press conference that starting quarterback David Ash will be held out of the game due to concussion-like symptoms following the team's season opener, per the Dallas Morning News' Chuck Carlton:

Coming off a 2013 season in which he missed the majority of the Longhorns' games due to concussion issues, what appears to be another injury of the sort is a troubling sign for Ash.

The junior quarterback is still being evaluated and a timetable has yet to be set for his return. In his absence, sophomore Tyrone Swoopes will move into the starting role.

Oct 15, 9:18 AM

Former Texas quarterback David Ash trying his hand at baseball

Oct 15, 9:18 AM

David Ash is done playing football for Texas, but he may not be finished with collegiate sports altogether.

Ash was at quarterback for the Longhorns since 2011 until he was forced into retirement this season due to lingering concussion symptoms. 

According to Chuck Carlton of the Dallas Morning News, Ash is exploring the possibility of pitching for the baseball team.

The report says that Ash threw a couple of bullpens for pitching coach Skip Johnson, but it was just to gauge where he was at. 

Ash didn't play baseball at Belton High School in Belton, Texas, but given the strength of his arm, pitching seems likes a viable option.

Texas is an NCAA baseball powerhouse, missing out on the College World Series Finals by one game in 2013 to eventual champion Vanderbilt. The Longhorns are ranked third in the nation, so cracking the roster would be a testament to Ash's ability on the diamond.

Feature photo courtesy of Reuters/Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 24, 8:05 PM

David Ash writes heartfelt letter thanking Longhorn Nation

Sep 24, 8:05 PM

Former Texas quarterback David Ash thanked Longhorns fans for their support throughout his career with a heartfelt letter that was posted on the team's website Wednesday evening. 

Being the quarterback at The University of Texas has been a huge blessing and one of the biggest reasons is our fans. Throughout my career, you have been awesome in the good times and the tough times. I've recently fallen on some harder times and am just so grateful that you have continued to support me. I can't thank you enough. The words of encouragement in tweets and messages, and the prayers - just know that they really matter. I am really appreciative of how y'all have treated me, as well as the opportunity to be a part of this great football program.

Ash ended his college football career last week after a concussion-filled history but will continue to be part of the program for the rest of the season.

Sep 22, 7:32 PM

David Ash 'at peace' with end of career

Sep 22, 7:32 PM

David Ash had hoped he would be able to play football again. The Texas quarterback knew better than to believe it would happen.

Ash spoke Monday for the first time since coach Charlie Strong announced last week that the junior's career was over.

Ash figured he could be finished when he called a team doctor in the middle of the night after the North Texas game on Aug. 30 and said he was experiencing headaches and dizziness.

''The symptoms got worse the next day and the next day,'' Ash said. ''In the core of my heart of hearts, I knew I shouldn't be playing. I don't think my hopes were ever really high. I've met my quota for crying for the next 10 years.''

Ash suffered a concussion during the second week of the 2013 season in a game at BYU. That is the only concussion that Ash and the team have acknowledged. He returned two weeks later, against Kansas State, but left that game with what Texas officials called a head injury. He missed the rest of the season.

His second comeback lasted one game, the season opener against North Texas on Aug. 30. Ash said he figured the end was inevitable after seven or eight days of headaches following that game. Though he was tackled several times in the game, Ash said, ''I didn't take a vicious blow.''

Strong waited a few weeks for Ash to arrive at a decision that was not really his to make. When Strong announced last Wednesday that Ash would no longer play, the coach said he told his quarterback ''there was no way we were going to let you back on the field.''

Even so, Ash said he appreciated that Strong, and the university, allowed him the time for contemplation.

''The doctors and coaches, they all pretty much knew I wasn't going to be able to play,'' Ash said. ''But they never told me that because I think they knew if they just took it away like that, it would have jolted me. So we went through due process and helped me understand why.''

Ash, deeply religious, said he ''prayed a lot'' while considering his future. He is concerned that future might include lingering effects from the injuries.

''That obviously played a role'' in his decision, Ash said. ''I've felt better the last few days. There are still things once in a while that are a little irregular.''

Ash was 15-7 as the Longhorns' starting quarterback. He had some big moments, leading the team to a 75-yard game-winning drive at Oklahoma State in 2012, and a comeback victory against Oregon State in the Alamo Bowl that season.

But he failed to beat rival Oklahoma in two tries, both blowout defeats. He was benched at Kansas in 2012 and watched from the sideline as Case McCoy led Texas to a narrow victory. Ash wishes his health would have afforded him the opportunity to leave behind a stronger legacy, to reach some goals.

But, he said, ''I'm at peace.''

Sep 19, 6:24 PM

Video of Longhorn's David Ash foreshadows career-ending injury

Sep 19, 6:24 PM

The final 20 seconds of a video chronicling the career of former University of Texas quarterback David Ash foreshadowed the end of his once-promising career.

Ash ended his college football career Thursday after a concussion-filled history under centre.

Towards the end of the six-minute video - produced by the Longhorn Network - Ash sits down to face a throng of media. One reporter asks "Are you looking forward to getting that first hit, just to see how you'll bounce back?"

"Oh yeah," responds Ash. "Bring it on man, I'm ready."

The video was released just days after Texas' week one victory over North Texas, which ironically ended up as Ash's final game. He played in the entire contest, but was later ruled out for the Longhorn's next game against BYU, and was eventually declared out indefinitely.

The sad ironies continue: the hit that is generally viewed as the one that ended Ash's career happened late in the first quarter. It was, in fact, "that first hit" the reporter mentioned - a hit he so confidently down-played to reporters - that ended up dooming him.

For any college football nerds, the superb video should satisfy; Ash was a prolific passer with serious talent, but he couldn't escape the harsh reality of constant concussion-related health issues.

He'll continue to be a part of the Longhorns team all season, just not on the field.

Feature photo courtesy of Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 18, 9:45 AM

Texas' Charlie Strong on David Ash retiring: 'He's done a lot for this program'

Sep 18, 9:45 AM

There was no easy way for Texas coach Charlie Strong to deliver the news about David Ash.

Strong announced the junior quarterback's decision to retire from football due to lingering concussion symptoms after practice Wednesday, showing clear signs of emotion.

"We just decided, because of his health - that's the No. 1 concern for all of us - that he's no longer going to play football," Strong told ESPN. "But he is going to be part of the team, because I told him I wanted him around the team and that's what he deserves."-

Ash suffered a concussion last September at BYU and since then has only appeared in two games. This week he met with Strong and the two agreed it was in his best interest to step away from the game.

"The trainers and doctors had been working with him and, like I said, his health is our major concern," Strong said. "We sat down to talk and he said, 'Coach, this is what I'd like to do.'"

Although the training staff at the school couldn't allow him to play due to his concussion history, Ash's decision to officially end his playing career was his own.

"It was a very tough call for him," Strong said. "He's very emotional. He's done a lot for this program, been a major part of this university."

Some former Longhorn great shared their love for the former QB.

Feature photo courtesy of USA TODAY Sports/Soobum Im

Sep 17, 7:39 PM

Texas head coach announces David Ash is giving up football

Sep 17, 7:39 PM

Texas head coach Charlie Strong announced Wednesday that quarterback David Ash will no longer play football, according to the Longhorn Network.

A Texas native, Ash has not appeared in a game since the Longhorns played North Texas in the season's opening week due to concussion-like symptoms. 

He has only appeared in four games since the start of the 2013 season due to concussion issues.

Ash will still be involved with the Longhorns program, according to KEYETV's Adam Winkler.

In his career with the Longhorns, the junior quarterback has thrown for 4,728 yards, 31 touchdowns and 18 interceptions.

Feature photo courtesy of Reuters/Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports

Sep 8, 5:44 PM

Texas coach Strong says David Ash out indefinitely

Sep 8, 5:44 PM

Texas coach Charlie Strong said Monday quarterback David Ash is out indefinitely and that the Longhorns will push ahead with Tyrone Swoopes as the starting quarterback.

Ash missed Texas' 41-7 loss to BYU on Saturday because of concussion symptoms. Swoopes was 20 of 31 passing for 176 yards with one touchdown and one interception in his first career start.

Ash has only appeared in four games since the start of the 2013 season. He was cleared to return this season and played most of Texas' season-opening win over North Texas. Ash later reported headaches and dizziness after the game and hasn't returned. He was on the sideline for the BYU game last week.

Texas (1-1) plays No. 12 UCLA (2-0) this Saturday at Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.