2013 Target: Riley Ferguson

MATTHEWS, N.C. --- Riley Ferguson, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound quarterback from Butler High School, was among the two dozen football recruits in Chapel Hill last Wednesday.

Scouting Report

"To look at him, most people say he's just a straight drop back passer and he's just going to sit in the pocket," Butler head football coach Brian Hales said. "Can he play that and fill that role? Absolutely. But I think one thing that sets him apart from most quarterbacks is when he's on the move – whether it be a called sprint out or a bootleg or a scramble. He's just as accurate on the move as he is standing in the pocket. So he allows us a lot of flexibility to do a lot of different things… He's very much an athlete. When he's pressured, if he wanted to pull it down and just get yards, he could do that. But he's going to scramble to find a place to throw the ball. He's very effective doing that – he's elusive, he's tough to bring down."

Prep Career

As a sophomore, Ferguson was thrust into the starting quarterback position at Butler, a nationally ranked program coming off a state championship, when incumbent Christian LeMay left the program.

"It wasn't really stressful," Ferguson said. "Everything happens for a reason… I just went out and played my game. I tried not to think about it too much, because that's when you could make mistakes. I just tried to be calm and let things happen."

Ferguson responded with 2,900 yards and 24 touchdowns on 161-of-290 passing. More importantly, he led Butler to a 16-0 record and its second consecutive NCHSAA 4AA Championship.

Ferguson improved his statistics during his junior season (167-of-249 passing for 2,929 yards and 45 touchdowns), but Butler posted an 11-2 record and was defeated by eventual state champion Greensboro Page in the third round of the playoffs.

Recruitment

Ferguson claims scholarship offers from 11 schools – Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Louisville, LSU, Maryland, Michigan, North Carolina, Notre Dame, South Florida, and Virginia Tech. Alabama, Auburn, UNC, and UCF are his most recent.

"[UNC] had come to our school a couple of times in the past couple of months," Ferguson said. "So they've been talking to me. And then they called my coach one day and just said they were going to offer and they invited to the North Carolina-Duke game."

"It was fun," Ferguson said of the visit. "It was a good experience and the game was crazy."

Throughout the visit, Ferguson spent a lot of time with Blake Anderson, UNC's quarterbacks coach and offensive coordinator, and head coach Larry Fedora.

"They were just talking about anything," Ferguson said. "We were just trying to get to know each other and seeing what it's like being around each other, because when you go to a college you want to know the coaches – you don't want to just play for them, you also want to know who they are.

"They were just talking about their depth chart. They said that I'm a good fit and I could run their offense. They were just talking about their program, pretty much."

Ferguson doesn't claim any favorite schools and is uncertain when he'll make a verbal commitment.

"I'm just letting everybody offer and then I'll narrow it down in the spring once I visit more schools," Ferguson said. "Once I know what's the right school, that's when I'll make my decision. I don't really know when that's going to be, though."

Besides UNC, the only school Ferguson has visited is Clemson.

"This spring, me, Peter [Kalambayi], Uriah [LeMay], we're going to visit a whole bunch of schools," Ferguson said. "We're going to make a road trip to a bunch of schools to see their campuses… Every school that's recruiting us around here, we're going to try to see. And then we're going to try to visit schools that are far away."

Extra Notes

When Ferguson was younger, he worked out under Jacob Charest, a Butler alumnus who played two seasons at Illinois before transferring to Division II Catawba… Ferguson is also close to Butler alumni Jarrett Boykin and Eddie Whitley, who both recently finished up their collegiate careers at Virginia Tech… Ferguson believes he could play in any offensive system in college, but said he prefers a pro-style offense to better prepare him for the NFL… Ferguson's older brother, Zach, signed with Division II Lenoir-Rhyne earlier in the month and was Ferguson's go-to receiver the past two seasons.

Riley Ferguson Profile


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