Ferguson's keeping tabs on LSU

LSU's search for defensive ends in the 2010 recruiting class continues up the east coast with the next stop in Frederick, Md., the home of J.R. Ferguson.

Schools have lined up for J.R. Ferguson, who was a dominant force on the defensive side of the ball last season for St. John’s Catholic Prep, and he wasn’t too bad on the offensive side either.

 

Ferguson, who is currently rated a four-star prospect and the 14th best defensive end in the country by Scout.com, had 97 tackles with 46 for loss, 14 sacks, and he forced five fumbles. He also played fullback and tight end and accounted for seven touchdowns on that side of the ball.

 

At 6-foot-4 and 265 pounds, Ferguson is already the size of most high school defensive tackles. He says his size advantage comes in handy when getting after the passer.

“Playing defensive end at 265 is different,” he said. “I can rush the passer like I’m 220. My first step is really good, and I use my hands very well. I can play the run well too, but my best quality is pass rushing.

 

“My mindset is just destroy the man in front of me on every play,” Ferguson continued. “I want to make sure I’m closer to the ball than my blocker at the end of each play.”

 

Ferguson has already taken many visits this spring to check out several of his suitors, and plans to take a few more in the coming weeks.

 

“I just got back from visiting USC, UCLA, and Cal,” he said. “USC offered me while I was out there, then Stanford offered me when I got home. I’ve also been to Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, and Illinois.

 

“Each school has something different to offer, and its really cool to see each program. I don’t have any more visits set up yet, but I’m planning to visit LSU, Penn State, and Florida State.”

 

Ferguson says he’s up to 42 offers total now, including all of the schools he has already visited  as well as LSU, Penn State, Kentucky, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Florida State, Miami, Connecticut, Michigan St, Northwestern, and Kansas State. He says he wants to visit a few more schools before he begins to narrow things down, including LSU.

 

“I got my offer from LSU in the mail a few months ago,” he said. “After I got it I started calling the coaches, and now I feel like I have a good connection with them. They are supposed to be coming up next week to watch me during spring practice.”

 

The relationship Ferguson is building with the LSU coaches begins with new defensive line coach Brick Haley.

 

“Coach Haley was the first coach from LSU that I talked to after getting my offer,” he said. “We built a good bond then, and I’ve been calling him every week since. He says he could see me being like Tyson Jackson except a better pass rusher. My thing with Coach Haley is, I like talking to him on the phone but I want to see him in action. I might try to come down during the summer for one of the camps to see how he does things.”

 

Besides Haley, Ferguson has also had the opportunity to speak with the Tigers’ head man, Les Miles.

 

“I got to talk to Coach Miles one time,” Ferguson recalled. “I got a good vibe from talking with him. He said he watched my film and really liked me. That was big for me. I enjoyed talking with him.”

 

While Ferguson is still getting to know the LSU coaching staff, he says he already knows a few things about the Tigers as he’s been keeping up with LSU over the years.

 

“I watched LSU when they had Glen Dorsey,” he said. “He was huge and just ridiculous. Last year they had Ricky Jean Francois and Tyson Jackson. I’ve been watching LSU play for a few years.

 

“I’ve watched who they are losing and who they are bringing in. I know this year they got Craig Loston, Russell Shepard, and Reuben Randle, so that was a big year for them.”

 

Ferguson says the distance from Maryland to Louisiana shouldn’t be much of a problem for a few reasons, especially because LSU has so much to offer.

 

“I’m originally from Florida, I didn’t grow up in Maryland,” he said. “I like to get out and explore new things, so I definitely want to get out and see Louisiana because I’ve never been there before.

 

“LSU’s reputation for their defensive line helps them a lot,” added Ferguson. “Winning the national championship in 2003 and 2007 helps a lot too. Whatever team I’m on I want to be able to compete for a national championship, and I know I could do that at LSU.”

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“Playing defensive end at 265 is different,” he said. “I can rush the passer like I’m 220. My first step is really good, and I use my hands very well. I can play the run well too, but my best quality is pass rushing.

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“My mindset is just destroy the man in front of me on every play,” Ferguson continued. “I want to make sure I’m closer to the ball than my blocker at the end of each play.”

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Ferguson has already taken many visits this spring to check out several of his suitors, and plans to take a few more in the coming weeks.

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“I just got back from visiting USC, UCLA, and Cal,” he said. “USC offered me while I was out there, then Stanford offered me when I got home. I’ve also been to Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina State, Pittsburgh, and Illinois.

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“Each school has something different to offer, and its really cool to see each program. I don’t have any more visits set up yet, but I’m planning to visit LSU, Penn State, and Florida State.”

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Ferguson says he’s up to 42 offers total now, including all of the schools he has already visited  as well as LSU, Penn State, Kentucky, Louisville, Vanderbilt, Florida State, Miami, Connecticut, Michigan St, Northwestern, and Kansas State. He says he wants to visit a few more schools before he begins to narrow things down, including LSU.

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“I got my offer from LSU in the mail a few months ago,” he said. “After I got it I started calling the coaches, and now I feel like I have a good connection with them. They are supposed to be coming up next week to watch me during spring practice.”

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The relationship Ferguson is building with the LSU coaches begins with new defensive line coach Brick Haley.

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“Coach Haley was the first coach from LSU that I talked to after getting my offer,” he said. “We built a good bond then, and I’ve been calling him every week since. He says he could see me being like Tyson Jackson except a better pass rusher. My thing with Coach Haley is, I like talking to him on the phone but I want to see him in action. I might try to come down during the summer for one of the camps to see how he does things.”

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Besides Haley, Ferguson has also had the opportunity to speak with the Tigers’ head man, Les Miles.

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“I got to talk to Coach Miles one time,” Ferguson recalled. “I got a good vibe from talking with him. He said he watched my film and really liked me. That was big for me. I enjoyed talking with him.”

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While Ferguson is still getting to know the LSU coaching staff, he says he already knows a few things about the Tigers as he’s been keeping up with LSU over the years.

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“I watched LSU when they had Glen Dorsey,” he said. “He was huge and just ridiculous. Last year they had Ricky Jean Francois and Tyson Jackson. I’ve been watching LSU play for a few years.

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“I’ve watched who they are losing and who they are bringing in. I know this year they got Craig Loston, Russell Shepard, and Reuben Randle, so that was a big year for them.”

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Ferguson says the distance from Maryland to Louisiana shouldn’t be much of a problem for a few reasons, especially because LSU has so much to offer.

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“I’m originally from Florida, I didn’t grow up in Maryland,” he said. “I like to get out and explore new things, so I definitely want to get out and see Louisiana because I’ve never been there before.

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“LSU’s reputation for their defensive line helps them a lot,” added Ferguson. “Winning the national championship in 2003 and 2007 helps a lot too. Whatever team I’m on I want to be able to compete for a national championship, and I know I could do that at LSU.”

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