Player/position: Ego Ferguson/DT
Year (experience): Freshman (redshirt)
Hometown: Frederick, Md.
Where he came from: Hargrave Military Academy (Va.)
Impact in 2011: Battling for a spot in the two-deep rotation at defensive tackle
Did you know: Ferguson, a native of Frederick, Md., transferred from St. John’s Catholic Prep to Hargrave Military Academy to play his senior year of high school with the private boarding school’s post-graduate team.
Questions and Answers
TSD: Where does defensive line coach Brick Haley have you at in the rotation?
Ferguson: “Right now coach (Haley) has me taking reps with the ones and twos. I’m just trying to find a place in the rotation, and he’s trying to see what he’s working with this year.”
TSD: What’s the difference between your approach as a freshman and your preparation headed into your second season with the program?
Ferguson: “Basically I came with a different mindset this time. I was coming off my first step really quick and exploding off the ball. I am just learning the position. Moving from defensive end to defensive tackle is a whole different animal. I finally started to pick up on different keys and techniques.”
TSD: What was that move from the edge to the inside like?
Ferguson: “When I came here I just wanted to find the quickest way to get me onto the field and on to the next level. When coach (Haley) asked me to move inside because it would help me out a lot, I said I would do it right away. It didn’t matter to me. I just wanted to get onto the field.”
TSD: With the move your weight seemed to fluctuate a lot over the past year. What was that process of getting into game shape like?
Ferguson: “At first I put on too much weight. I got to like 310 pounds in the spring. But now I am at 281 and I love it. I am quick off the ball, but I still have that strength. So that’s good.”
TSD: How much of that do you credit to strength and conditioning coordinator Tommy Moffitt?
Ferguson: “Moffitt was on me all summer, from the beginning to the end. From stretching to extra running, he had me right. He really got me into good shape for this fall camp.”
TSD: What is something that stands out about this defensive line?
Ferguson: “I think this season we are all coming together. We are all helping each other out. We aren’t worried about who starts the game; we just want to finish the game. When someone else comes in the game we want the effort to stay the same.”
TSD: Haley mentioned using a rotation of five defensive tackles. What’s his message been like in fall camp?
Ferguson: “He tells us that the competition is open every day. We are really just trying to get better every day. The stronger that front is, then the stronger the team is.”
TSD: What’s it like working inside when you have speed rushers like Ken Adams, Sam Montgomery and Barkevious Mingo?
Ferguson: “They have amazing speed, so it makes everything a lot easier. Mingo and Sam and Ken come up the field so fast that it pushes everything towards us, and it helps us make plays.”
TSD: Is there any one player that fans should keep an eye on?
Ferguson: “People should really watch out for Sam since he’s coming back (from injury), and Mingo had a great year last year and should do the same this year. He’s tried to bulk up, and he looks good.”
TSD: What’s the feeling on the line as the team moves past the midway point of fall camp?
Ferguson: “I think we still have a ways to go, but we are good right now. Our goal this year is to be the best in the country, but we aren’t there yet. We have to work at it every day.”