Lawrenceburg high’s head coach Ryan Knigga can do two things; develop talent and win. Under his watch, the Tigers have 88 wins in 10 seasons and just two losing seasons. Lawrenceburg is a class 3A program tucked away in Southeast Indiana along the Ohio river. An average fan would overlook the Tigers. Coach Knigga and his teams have had Indiana Preps’ attention for years. The Tigers were class 3A state runner-ups in 2016. Michigan All Big 10 and national championship qualifying wrestler Mason Parris was the starting linebacker on that team. Lawrenceburg is no stranger to bolstering talented rosters.
The 2020 football season was no different. A handful of college-bound seniors and a talented junior class led the Tigers to a 11-2 record. Coach Knigga will lose all-star caliber players in Ethan Parris, Brayden York and Noah Rowlett to graduation. The Tigers return a good nucleus of players capable of making a deep run into the 2021 tournament. A pair of division one prospects are at key positions for the Tigers. At quarterback you have 6′ 180-pound Garrett Yoon. A playmaker with the ball in his hands. He’ll have his favorite target back in Dahya Patel, a 6’2 185-pound receiver with great ball catching skills and run after the catch ability. Up front is INPrep50 offensive lineman Ashton Craig. An absolute crushing run blocker and with agile feet to handle speed rushers on the edge. Since the conclusion of the 2020 season, the 6’5 265-pound tackle has racked up a number of scholarship offers. Purdue, Indiana, Northwestern, Baylor and Cincinnati are Craig’s most recent offers. As one of the state’s top prospects, he credits his development and the teams success to the culture that Coach Knigga has engineered for his program. “We have a great team culture at Lawrenceburg”. When Power-Five programs are beating down your door, some would expect a teenager to be engulfed by the attention. Instead, Craig focuses on the team goals as opposed to his own. “We have a great tradition and each year we try to write our own chapter. We understand at Lawrenceburg you are remembered by Championships and that is our goal each year”.
Coach Knigga isn’t surprised by the success his rising senior prospect is having with recruiting. “Ashton is first an unbelievable kid. Ashton is a kid who works hard everyday in the classroom, weight room, on the field and in the community”. The Tiger players look for Ashton to lead the way in every aspect of the program. His head coach calls him a “role model for everyone in our program from the top to the bottom”. It appears that Craig has everything major college programs are looking for in a player. His style of play on the football field play is attracting Power Five programs across the country. At 6’5 265, Ashton is an athletic player who doubles as a starter on the Lawrenceburg varsity basketball team. Coach Knigga says he understands why college coaches are throwing out offers. “He is a very athletic player who can move and will be a versatile player at the next level. Ashton will finish blocks and play to the whistle.”
Craig has around 20 scholarship offers, and as humble as his head coach describes him, he recalls on his first offer from Central Michigan University. He’s as “grateful” for his first offer as he is as for his 20th. There isn’t a date in place for a commitment, as Craig plans to take his time and enjoy the journey. If things get back to normal, Ashton plans to make visits this Summer and evaluate college options with his family. Coach Knigga believes that whoever lands Craig, will get a “monster” and a kid that is ready to compete on day one.
“Wherever he goes, he will make an impact” said Knigga. Major college programs are betting on it.