Edmond Santa Fe's Ashton Preston turns dream into reality by signing with North Texas
EDMOND — When Ashton Preston arrived last offseason in Dallas to work out with Quicktwitch owner Clay Mack, there was nothing but raw talent.
It was raw talent that was not quite ready for the Division I level, but there was promise with the Edmond Santa Fe defensive back.
Months later, Preston signed a National Letter of Intent to play at North Texas on Wednesday, completing a long journey that turned his dream into a reality.
“It’s a blessing,” Preston said. “Nothing but God, nothing but God. Two years ago, I had the mindset, but if you told me I was going to be in this position I’d laugh in your face.”
Preston, who is 5-foot-11 and 180 pounds, is a lockdown corner who is known for his physicality. Last season, he recorded 34 tackles and one interception in nine games for the Wolves.
It was an improvement on just an average junior season.
“He had a nice junior year, but nothing that we saw out of the ordinary. Then watching how he progressed through the summer, we saw he was a Division I kid,” Edmond Santa Fe coach Lance Manning said. “It was neat watching him develop and put the extra work in with us and how far he came. Literally, his motivation put him in place to do that.”
Preston, who stuck with the Mean Green despite late pushes from programs such as SMU, said he just set out after his junior season to find his way to the next level.
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That meant spending a lot of weekends in Dallas with Mack, who owns the company aimed to develop athletes. That meant Preston’s father turned into a public relations guy.
“A lot of hard work went into this,” Preston said. “A lot of this is owed to Coach Mack, though. He had probably the biggest impact on my recruiting process and life and everything. He was like a brother to me. I know he’s like 30 years older than me, but he’s like a brother.”
Mack was in attendance at the National Signing Day ceremony and said he was pleased with the results from Preston.
“I thought he was a D-I talent, but I didn’t know if it translated over,” Mack said. “But now to be honest, I live in Texas and I would list Ashton with one of the top three or four corners in Texas.”