NC State was the first school to offer Southport (N.C.) South Brunswick defensive end A.J. Ferguson, and all the attention they have paid to him has made a good impression. He took a trip to Raleigh a couple of weekend’s ago for the Pack’s big win over Wake Forest and is higher on the Wolfpack than ever.
The 6-3, 250 pound defensive end runs the 40 in 4.8 seconds and has been very active in his final high school campaign. He estimates he has recorded 80 tackles, 20 tackles for loss, 10 tackles and an interception, along with several forced fumbles, on the year.
South Brunswick defeated Orange High School this past Friday and now advance to the third round of the playoffs for the first time in school history. While he knows he will have to address the recruiting process at some point, winning a state championship is at the front of his mind right now.
"I want to win a ring, man. That's about all I want right now. It would just be nice. If we stay focused and play our game I know we can do it," Ferguson said. "I don't really know when I'll be making my (college) decision. I'm just trying to focus on finishing up strong this year."
Nonetheless, with an offer from NC State it's difficult not to think about recruiting to some extent. That's why Ferguson attended NC State's last home game against Wake Forest. It wasn't his first trip to Raleigh.
"Yeah, I was there. It was my third game at State this year," he said. "I liked it a lot. It's always exciting and this time it was right down to the wire.
"I left my house probably at about 9 or something and we went down there and got to the Walk of Champions. We registered and I paid for my mom and I to eat. After that I went and talked to Coach Tom O'Brien for about five or ten minutes. Then we ate lunch and went out on the field for the pregame warm-ups.
"It started raining but it wasn’t bad. After the game I went into the locker room and talked to my recruiter, Coach Petercuskie. I actually helped one of the defensive ends out of his pads, and I talked to the defensive line coach after that.
"NC State is definitely number one right now. I've been hearing from ECU, Virginia Tech and (North) Carolina a little bit but they haven't offered. The only games I've been to have been at State."
Ferguson said he would likely try to take his official visits beginning in late November or early December.