Always on the lookout for a player who can help the Tigers win, Gran may have found just that person in defensive back Lorenzo Ferguson from Southridge High School. Ferguson will report to practice this week at AU with the other incoming freshmen.
A 6-3, 195-pounder with 4.5 speed and a ferocious attitude on the field, Ferguson earned All-Dade County honors as a senior and was third-team All-State as named by the Florida Sports Writers Association. Despite those accolades Ferguson didn't get as much recruiting attention as would be expected because of an injury suffered late in his senior year.
After receiving early offers LSU, Florida, Rutgers, Miami and others, Ferguson was all set to sign with LSU and attend college in Baton Rouge until breaking a bone in his foot in late November. Assuming that Ferguson wouldn't be ready to play this fall, LSU filled its class as did Florida with plans to bring Ferguson in with the next signee class.
Ferguson says he planned to enroll at LSU in January 2005 and began rehabbing his injured foot. When the healing process went quicker than expected, the big defensive back decided to reconsider his plans. In June he decided that he wanted to play football this year and went about finding a place to do that.
"I didn't want to wait until January to go to school," Ferguson tells Inside The Auburn Tigers. "I got in touch with a family friend and he called around to see who would be interested. Both Auburn and Rutgers called back and I decided to give them a look."
Thus began his whirlwind courtship. Ferguson took a trip to New Jersey to visit the Scarlet Knights in July and he followed that with a trip to the Auburn campus. Ferguson says there is no comparison between the two colleges after seeing them both in person.
"I really like Auburn and the people there," Ferguson says. "It's a nice town. I had never been out of Miami and it's a good place. It's also nice having some Miami guys on the team. I hung out with Junior Rosegreen while I was in town and we hit it off. Even though he is a senior it will be nice having him around for this year."
A four-year starter at Southridge, Ferguson was deadly roaming the secondary from his free safety position as well as on special teams. His top game as a senior came in a 33-28 win over Homestead. In the game Ferguson ran back a kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and also returned an interception 35 yards for a score. For the season he had three interceptions and three touchdowns.
When practice starts this week, Ferguson will line up with the cornerbacks. Senior Carlos Rogers is a fixture at one cornerback spot, however, the other side is not settled with David Irons and Montae Pitts battling for the position.