Ferguson Knows Next Destination

A.J. Ferguson has had a busy summer on the gridiron. The in-state defensive end from South Brunswick (NC) High School was North Carolina's lone representative in the inaugural IFAF Junior World Championship.

A.J. Ferguson has had a busy summer on the gridiron. The in-state standout from South Brunswick (NC) High School was North Carolina's lone representative in the inaugural IFAF Junior World Championship.

Ferguson lined up at defensive end for the United States, helping lead the team to an undefeated record and the title.

"That event was really good," said Ferguson. "It was a good experience going against some of the top players in the United States and across the world.

"I had a chance to play a lot at defensive end. We had so many good players that it didn't matter who started. I started the second game and we basically switched every series in every game. In the championship game we actually drew straws to see who would start."

After the event, which was held in Ohio, Ferguson returned home for a few days before heading to Greensboro to play in the 2009 East-West All-Star Game. He suited up for the East team, which won 6-0 as Ferguson saw time on the offensive side of the ball.

"That game was kind of cool because I played tight end the whole game," he said. "We basically ran the ball the entire time so I didn't get to have any catches.

"The thing was I didn't play defensive end at all... just tight end. I was a little upset, but I got over it because we won the game and I didn't want to be selfish. I know I'll be playing defensive end in college though."

Ferguson totaled 80 tackles, 20 tackles for a loss, and 10 sacks as a senior, and he used the strong finish to his high school career to secure a scholarship offer from NC State. However, Ferguson's enrollment at NC State will come a few months from now as he plans on attending Fork Union Military Academy before making his way to Raleigh.

"I'm not going to NC State right now because I'm going to Fork Union first," said Ferguson. "When I first committed the coaches told me that I would be going to prep school for a year... that was the plan for me from the time I got my offer.

"There was a slight change about a month ago where I almost enrolled in the fall, but we just decided for me to go to Fork Union and then State in January."

Checking in at 6-foot-3 and 270 pounds, Ferguson says he will play defensive end at Fork Union (where joining him will be fellow signee Tyson Chandler).

"I've been talking to the Fork Union coaches for a couple of months now," said Ferguson. "They had me on the radio station a while back... just getting to know me a little bit. I'll be heading there on August 17th. They want me to play defensive end.. so does State."

Ferguson maintains that he's firmly committed to NC State and can't wait to make his way to Raleigh.

"I'm really excited," he said. "I loved it on my official visit to State and was pumped up when coach Petercuskie came through with an offer. I didn't hesitate on my commitment. They want me to go in there and help them out at defensive end... that's what I plan to do."

Scouting Report: "One thing you see repeatedly when watching South Brunswick (Southport, NC) defensive end A.J. Ferguson is the talented senior making play after play in the opposition's backfield. He is skilled at consistently beating the offensive lineman across from him and penetrating into the backfield.

"Ferguson has very good size for a high school defensive end and while not the fastest prospect, he shows good quickness and lateral pursuit which allows him to make plays around the line of scrimmage.

"Ferguson also saw plenty of snaps this year at tight end which allows him to take advantage of his size and athleticism. Although his future college position is defensive end, he displays the overall football skills on offense that will translate to the other side of the ball.

"Although he will need time to get stronger and hone his skills, Ferguson is a solid player with upside who's best days lie ahead." -- Pack Pride Recruiting Analyst Steve Williams

Film: #39 DE A.J. Ferguson -

Film: #39 TE/DE A.J. Ferguson -

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