Blessed Over and Over Again

Ego (J.R.) Ferguson says he gets the same feeling every time a college football program offers him a scholarship.

"It's a blessing from God," the 6-foot-4, 260-pound, Scout.com top-100 player said.

J.R. Ferguson has been getting blessed a lot.

The four-star defensive end from St. John's at Prospect Hall in Frederick, Md., holds roughly 35 scholarship offers from some of the nation's top programs. Notre Dame became one of the latest teams to officially join the race, offering Ferguson a scholarship last Friday.

"I mean, I haven't been up there yet, but I've heard a lot about it," Ferguson said. "I know the history of the coach, and the educational background. Now, I have to get up there and see the facilities and stuff."

Ferguson has a lot of places he needs to see. He has already visited Illinois, Maryland, Pittsburgh, Clemson, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Duke and Georgia. Most of those schools have offered a full ride, and so has places like Oklahoma, Nebraska, Penn State and Virginia Tech. Ferguson says he will most likely visit Notre Dame for the first time this summer.

While Ferguson hasn't been able to come to South Bend yet, Irish assistant coach Ron Powlus has come to him. In fact, Powlus has come out to Ferguson's school three times. The two have also spoken on the phone six or seven times.

"We talk about school, life, the catholic education," Ferguson said. "What Notre Dame has, and what they give, and what they need to get to the next level."

The Notre Dame coaching staff thinks they need Ferguson.

This past season, Ferguson racked up 97 tackles and 12 sacks. He also scored seven touchdowns on offense playing some fullback and tight end, helping lead his team to a 9-2 record.

Ferguson talked with Powlus last Friday before getting his Notre Dame offer directly from head coach Charlie Weis.

"He basically told me, if I want to go to Notre Dame, I have an offer from Notre Dame," Ferguson recapped. "But he's not going to offer me if I'm not interested. I said I'm interested."

Right now, Ferguson is interested in everybody. He is claiming no favorites, and just wants to get out and visit more schools. He has also set no timetable on a college decision.

"It's not what I'm planning, it's when I feel right," Ferguson said. "When I know, that's when I'll make my decision.

"First of all, I'm looking for an education. I want to be at a place that even if I get injured, I can go to for four years and get a great degree. The second thing I'm looking for is a place I can compete early, and third, I'm looking for a players' coach."

While all of Ferguson's offers feel the same to him, a blessing, his parents look at them a little differently. Notre Dame had another ring to it when Ferguson told his mom and dad about the offer.

"Well, my dad said it was a very top-notch educational program. It's on a level by itself. And my mom basically said the same thing, that the education speaks for itself."


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