NC State safety Rakeim Ashford stretchered off field after hit vs. UConn

North Carolina State’s Rakeim Ashford, a special teams ace for the Wolfpack, was taken off the field Thursday on a stretcher after he was hit from behind on a kickoff return late in the third quarter against UConn.

Ashford, a graduate student from Ackerman, Miss., held a thumbs up to the crowd as he was rolled away by paramedics. A school spokesman told CBS Ashford was taken to a local hospital for further testing, but told officials he had feeling in his extremities.

Ashford was blocking for his teammate on the return team and was hit from behind by UConn’s Isaiah Davis, who was flagged for a late hit. NC State was leading 17-14 with 1:54 remaining in the third quarter.

Ashford had one of the top plays of the season with an acrobatic interception in the Duke’s Mayo Bowl against Maryland last season, according to his player bio. He was featured on ESPN’s “You Got Mossed” segment for the play. He played a big role on the Wolfpack special teams and was in for 145 special teams snaps for the 2022 season.

Ashford has posted 29 tackles, including 11 solo tackles, and one interception in his three seasons with NC State. He transferred to NC State from Jones County Junior College in Mississippi ahead of the 2020 season.

He has a 2-year-old son and graduated in December with a degree in sports management.

(Photo: Bob Donnan / USA Today)

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