The Road Less Traveled: Ashaad Mabry made the ultimate sacrifice for family


It figures to be an exciting week for the New Orleans Saints. Their four-day rookie minicamp kicks off on Friday, May 15, and features some thirty-one players. There’s the nine draft selections, thirteen undrafted rookie free agents, and then nine tryouts. It’s a great chance to discover some early frontrunners for the 53-man roster, and more importantly get to know some amazing stories. Today, we’ll look at one of the hopefuls, University of Texas-San Antonio’s Ashaad Mabry.

For starters, NFL Draft Scout pegged Mabry as their 74th highest prospect out of 177 defensive tackles. He played three years for the Roadrunners (2012-2014), playing in all 36 games. Mabry racked up 114 total tackles (10 for loss), two sacks, and one pass deflection. If you can believe it, he was even credited for one punt return yards for 9 yards in 2012.

Pro Day Results

Height: 6’2″

Weight: 322 pounds

40-Yard Dash: 5.34 seconds

Broad Jump: 8-foot-3

Vertical Jump: 22 1/2″

Bench Reps: 26

20-Yard Shuttle: 5.18 seconds

3-Cone Drill: 8.39 seconds

Originally, Mabry was recruited by Oklahoma State in February 2010, and signed a letter of intent. He was a three star recruit coming out of high school. As per KENS5, Mabry enrolled at OSU in July 2011, but left less than a month after starting school to be with his mother, who was suffering from hypertension and diabetes. Ultimately, Mabry made the ultimate sacrifice, choosing family first, which certainly generates a lot of admiration for a young man.

Mabry, a graduate of Douglas MacArthur High School in San Antonio, felt the need to be at home. Mabry’s mother, Corchelle, previously beat out cervical cancer when he was a child, but a mild stroke changed things. She urged Ashaad to stay, but he insisted on being near his mother.

"“It feels like this was the right decision,” said Mabry, a MacArthur graduate. “I felt like I needed to be around here right now. Now I’m here, 20 minutes away, and I couldn’t be more excited.”"

UTSA has not been in existence for long, as their inaugural season was in 2011, but they made history this year by sending their first ever players to the NFL. Besides Mabry’s addition to the New Orleans Saints, the Seattle Seahawks also found free safety Triston Wade from the Roadrunners.

When Mabry learned the news that the Saints were bringing him, he was extremely grateful and humble.

"“This truly is a blessing,” Mabry said. “I honestly didn’t think the NFL was a possibility following everything I went through with coming back for my mother and having a son at the age of 19. It shows that hard work really does pay off. I want to thank Coach Coker and the entire coaching staff because I would not have had this opportunity without their coaching and support the last four years. I cannot wait to get to New Orleans.”"

Ashaad Mabry is in a good situation with the New Orleans Saints, as the team really needs a defensive tackle to replace the departure of Tyrunn Walker. Like many players to walk through the doors of the NFL, Mabry has a very unique back story that makes you can’t help but root for.

Mabry will face competition with Tyeler Davison and Kaleb Eulls in addition to the already established John Jenkins, Brodrick Bunkley, and Lawrence Virgil. The Saints are not your traditional 3-4 defense, as we witnessed several occasions where they used four man fronts.

Mabry is more of your run stopping presence, and that’s something the Saints could tremendously benefit from. Here’s a perfect example of what he brings to the table:

More from Who Dat Dish