Ferguson a Traveling Man

J.R. Ferguson plans to narrow his list of 47 scholarship offers to 10-15 schools after the summer. Prior to that point, Ferguson will continue to travel the country and visit campuses.

"My dad likes traveling," Ferguson said with a laugh.

Ferguson has a northeast tour scheduled for June that will include stops at Boston College, Connecticut, and Rutgers. The 6-foot-4, 270-pound defensive lineman also plans to make another southern swing that will include Florida State, LSU, Miami, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Vanderbilt.

A few of Ferguson's visits will be in conjunction with the school's respective camp, which will provide him a chance to evaluate coaching styles. Although Ferguson will be a spectator at most camps, he does plan to participate during a few.

When all is said and done, Ferguson estimates that he will have visited between 30-40 schools. Already, in the past two years, he has visited every ACC school, California, Florida, Illinois, LSU, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, South Carolina, Southern Cal, Tennessee, and UCLA.

"It looks like everybody that actually placed an offer will probably get at least one visit," Ferguson said.

Heading into a summer full of visits, Ferguson doesn't claim and favorite schools.

"Right now, we want to leave everything as open as possible," Ferguson said. "… We might have one that's a favorite right now, and then we get to the campus and end up being ‘Wow, I didn't know this was going to happen.'"

UNC, a school Ferguson has already visited four times, will be among the select schools at which Ferguson will camp.

"Definitely, [I want to workout with John Blake]," Ferguson said. "I'm very, very, very intrigued by the opportunity."

Blake and Ferguson have developed a solid relationship through the recruiting process. "Most of the conversations are non-football related," Ferguson said. "I try to call him at least once every other week. And it's just about the Christian lifestyle, talking about the adjustments from high school to college, and when we do talk football it's basically technique and things to help me get better."

UNC, like many schools, is recruiting Ferguson as a defensive tackle.

"Everybody is saying that with the size right now and the potential of growing, they expect me to move from a five- to a three-technique," Ferguson said.

Ferguson would prefer to play defensive end, his primary high school position, on the collegiate level.

"[I like] the one-on-one, to attack the edge, and to put some real heat on the quarterback," Ferguson said.

This fall, Ferguson will transfer to Chatham (Va.) Hargrave Military Academy, where he will play on the post graduate team.

"Playing on the post graduate team would be a challenge and a great opportunity," Ferguson said. "Playing the competition on their schedule is unheard of at this time of my growth. [The military life-style] will give me more focus on school and work. It would help take away all the outside stuff, so I can focus on football and education.

"I'm going in there with one purpose – to be the No. 1 player in the country."

A Hargrave representative contacted the Fergusons and presented the idea. The Fergusons couldn't turn down the offer, despite their strong feelings for Frederick (Md.) St. John's High School.

"We really appreciate everything St. John's has done for us – especially Coach [Jimmy] Ward," Ferguson said. "This was a gut-wrenching decision for us. This was just an opportunity we couldn't turn down."

Attending Hargrave will also provide Ferguson the option to graduate high school early and enroll at his chosen college for the spring semester.

If Ferguson graduates early, his recruitment will be accelerated. Instead of waiting until January, he would make a verbal commitment sometime in September or October.

J.R. Ferguson Profile


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