Ashford fought through injury to make comeback against Toledo


Perez Ashford (7) takes a Wisconsin kickoff down the sidelines.

By Matt Hopkinson

The Northern Star recently caught up with senior wide receiver Perez Ashford, who returned to action in a big way in the Toledo game. Ashford has been battling injuries the last couple of weeks but caught five passes for 70 yards and a touchdown in the Huskies 31-24 MAC West clinching victory over the Rockets. The Northern Star and Ashford discuss what it has been like battling back from his injury, how much he wanted to play in the Toledo game on senior night and whether this is the best team he has ever been a part of.

Northern Star: What has it been like watching from the sidelines the last few weeks?

Perez Ashford: It’s been really hard, but it motivated me to work harder. My teammates really helped me out through my rehab, they kept my spirits up. They pushed me to go harder in rehab and to come back. The trainers did a real good job as well; they’re really good at what they do. I thank everyone for helping me get back out there.

NS: How was that rehab process?

PA: The rehab process was tough with the things they had me doing. But I knew each rep or everything we were doing would get me back on the field faster. Everything they put in front of me I did and everything worked out so I’m happy for that.

NS: How involved were you in practice while you were injured?

PA: I was pretty much coaching from the sidelines during the film perspective. After practice I would be up in film, helping everyone see what they did wrong.

NS: How important was it for you to be able to come back and play in that Toledo game?

PA: It was really important to me, seeing as how Toledo is from Ohio, my home state. Being my last game here as a senior, this was the game I definitely wanted to come back [for].

NS: How did this year’s game against Toledo compare to last year’s?

PA: I would say Toledo changed up [its] defense somewhat. On the field, it was more open than last year. We had a different scheme going into the game than last year, that’s mostly what changed it up.

NS: For you personally, how did you feel with your contributions?

PA: I wouldn’t say it’s better or worse. I’m happy with the outcome and thankful, honestly. I’m thankful I was able to come back to the field, play with my teammates and be coached by the coaches.

NS: Is this year’s team the best team you’ve ever been a part of?

PA: Yeah, I would say so, yes. This is the best team, the best camaraderie, the best overall team I’ve ever played with.

NS: Does knowing you’re getting back to the MAC Championship game mask the feelings of missing out on so many games of your senior season?

PA: Personally, no. I mean, cause it’s not all about the game. It’s about going on the road with your teammates and spending time with them. I wouldn’t say so, but it’s definitely a blessing and a good thing, but I wouldn’t say that, no.