IE Breakdown: Justin Ferguson

Irish Eyes offers its overall breakdown of Justin Ferguson, the Pembroke Pines, Florida-product, and the sixth member of Brian Kelly's class of 2012.

GENERAL BREAKDOWN

HT – WT – SPEED: Listed at 6-foot-2, 200-pounds, Justin Ferguson is the type of wide receiver Brian Kelly will look to do some big things with. Big physical receivers in Kelly's spread attack mean yards after catch advantages. Look for Ferguson to add another 10-15 pounds to his frame during his Irish career and become even stronger. Some feel Ferguson could be faster, however, on film he looks to have the ability to separate after the catch and the ability to score anytime he catches the ball.

QUICKNESS – AGILITY – BALANCE: On the film I've watched I came away very impressed with his quickness and the ability to move lateral and then burst forward. On several plays you see Ferguson use either hand as a pivot when it looks as if he's going down. This is not easy to do and requires a player with great balance to pull it off.

STRENGTH: More physical strength will come Ferguson's way as he matures and enters a college strength program. On film we see a player who is capable of giving a solid stiff arm and results on the positive side.

BODY FLEXIBILITY: On several plays you see Ferguson make body adjustments to make the catch. At times he shows the ability to go low for a ball but the area that most impressed me was the way he was able to slow down his run, adjust to an underthrown ball with an over the shoulder catch or pulling down a ball by extending his body.

PRODUCTION: As a reminder this is not about statistics, but overall skill level and ability on how a player produces on the field. In Kelly's offensive attack, Ferguson will have a chance to make plays within the scheme but will be required to turn 5 yard passes into 30 or greater gains. Already Ferguson shows the ability to do this and with great success. As Ferguson continues to work on being a better pass catcher and route runner, he will have a chance to be a 60-80 catch per season player.

ON THE FIELD

The main thing you see from Ferguson on the field is his willingness to be physical. With his physical size he will have a chance to be a major threat in an offense that fits his skill set. The ability to catch the ball in a crowd shows an above average level of concentration.

I do not feel Ferguson is a great route runner, however, he shows production on all three types of routes (short, medium, deep) and the ability to catch the ball over his shoulder while in stride shows an advanced level of play early. One thing that will need to be addressed is the number of times you see the ball out in the open while running after the catch. Ferguson has no problem taking a hit, but carrying the ball away from his body at the college level will lead to turnovers and will not be tolerated by Brian Kelly and his staff.

OVERALL

As seen by recent recruiting interest, Justin Ferguson is just starting to be a player college programs feel has major talent. On film I see a player who plays physical much like Michael Irvin did back in the day and that will carry over well at the college level. Ferguson also does a great job at the start of routes and on second step quickness.

Irish fans should be excited about the type of player Justin Ferguson projects to be in the coming years.


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