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2026 DB: Preston Ashley (MS)

Brandon High School's football team has been fortunate to have the talent and dedication of Preston Ashley, a standout defensive back who has made a name for himself on the field. From his early days playing with the varsity team in middle school to his current position as a key player in the high school league, Ashley's journey in football has been nothing short of impressive.

Reflecting on his high school career, Ashley fondly recalls one of his most memorable moments: "When we played our South state championship and I recovered the fumble to set us up to kick a game-winner to send us to state." This game-changing play highlights his ability to step up in critical situations and make an impact when it matters most.

Describing his playing style, Ashley emphasizes his physicality and intelligence on the field: "I describe my game as physical but smart too because I'm not afraid to put my hands on a tight end or wide receiver. However, I am smart enough to know down and distance, understand the wide receiver splits, and anticipate the routes that are about to come at me." His combination of strength and strategic thinking makes him a formidable opponent for any offense.

Ashley's talents have not gone unnoticed by college programs, with Mississippi State and Ole Miss showing significant interest in recruiting him. When considering his options for college football, Ashley values the level of attention and genuine interest shown by these programs. He appreciates their commitment and support.

The recruitment process has been an enjoyable experience for Ashley, who is relishing every moment. As he navigates this exciting journey, he remains focused on maintaining a balance between academics and athletics. Ashley's parents instilled in him the importance of education, and he understands that grades are crucial for long-term success both on and off the field.

While Ashley acknowledges the impact of his parents on his development, he also credits their support and guidance. "My mom and dad have a significant impact, making sure I eat well, have the best resources, and ensuring my mental state is on its A game. They are a huge influence in my life," he shares. Their presence has been instrumental in helping him thrive as a football player and as an individual.

Throughout his football career, Ashley has faced the challenge of going against bigger opponents. However, he embraces competition and thrives in the face of adversity. "The position I play requires finesse against guys who are usually 6'4 and 260 pounds, which is challenging. But I love it because those challenges will make me great," he explains. Ashley's determination and love for competition set him apart on the field.

Looking ahead to his sophmore high school football season, Ashley has ambitious goals. He aims to leave a lasting legacy, win the state championship, and make his city proud. Alongside these aspirations, he hopes to stay true to his faith, be named Gatorade Player of the Year, and earn a spot as a UA All-American. Ashley's drive and commitment to excellence serve as a testament to his ambition and potential.

Beyond football, Ashley has aspirations to be a man of faith and a source of inspiration for younger kids who look up to him. He values the opportunity to lead by example both on and off the field, striving to make his family and himself proud in all aspects of life. Preston Ashley is not just a talented football player; he is a young man with a clear vision for a bright future.

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