Recruiting Week in Review

In an era where big name athletes frequently feature big egos, it's refreshing to find talented young players who recognize the incredible benefits that their athletic gifts have given them. Last week Irish Eyes' Steve Wiltfong spoke to two recruits who, while suffering from no lack of talent, also suffer from no lack of humility. What have you been missing by not being a member of Irish Eyes?

Ego (J.R.) Ferguson, DE, 6-4, 260, St. John's at Prospect Hall, Frederick, MD doesn't really live up to his name. Humility might be a better moniker for the Maryland standout. When another university football program steps up to the plate with a scholarship offer, Ferguson gets the same feeling.

"It's a blessing from God," says the four-star and Top 100 prospect.

Thus far Ferguson has been blessed thirty-five times, with Notre Dame being one of the latest to offer him a scholarship. The Irish stepped up to the plate last Friday with an offer. Like many recruits, Ferguson knows some things about Notre Dame, but mostly what can be gleaned from television.

"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."

Though Ferguson hasn't been to South Bend, he has been a regular contact with Notre Dame assistant coach Ron Powlus. Powlus has come to his school three times and the two have spoken on the phone six or seven times. The last time they spoke, Powlus put head coach Charlie Weis on the phone.

"He basically told me if I want to go to Notre Dame, I have an offer from Notre Dame," said Ferguson of his conversation with Weis. "But he's not going to offer me if I'm not interested. I said I'm interested." Ferguson claims neither current favorites nor a timetable for making a decision. He just plans to visit as many schools as possible and when he gets the right feeling, he'll make a decision.

"It's not what I'm planning, it's when I feel right," Ferguson explained. "When I know, that's when I'll make my decision." Ferguson discussed his priorities in choosing a school. "First of all I'm looking for an education," he said. "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 that I can compete early and third, I'm looking for a players' coach."

Ferguson may not have any favorites, but his parents seemed a bit extra excited about the Notre Dame offer.

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

New Notre Dame graduate assistant Brian White brought immediate dividends to the program. As a former Maryland assistant coach, he was responsible for recruiting David Amerson, S, 6-2, 180, Dudley High School, Greensoro, NC. When White showed associate head coach Corwin Brown Amerson's film, Brown almost immediately got Amerson on the phone. "He said there is not too many DB's in high school that can come up and hit as hard as I do and play the deep ball as well as I do and that's what he's looking for in a DB and everything," explained Amerson.

Weis agreed with Brown's assessment and a couple of days later offered the North Carolina standout a scholarship. "I'm still speechless," Amerson said. "That's a big time football program and everything. I'm really interested in learning more about Notre Dame and the coaches and everything, and just see how the campus is. I'm real interested."

Amerson was impressed with Weis after their short conversation. The Notre Dame head coach's notoriety played a part in that positive impression. "It was a memorable moment," recounted Amerson. "I see him on TV and everything. I see him on SportsCenter and to be talking to him on the phone is a memorable moment. Basically, he said he was offering me a full scholarship and he wants me to come down and play for them. He asked me what I think about Notre Dame and everything and he was giving me compliments on my game and how I play and everything."

In addition to the Notre Dame scholarship offer, Amerson currently holds offers from North Carolina State, Texas Tech, Wake Forest, Duke and East Carolina. Amerson claims no favorites and has visited all the campuses of the programs that have offered him except Notre Dame and Texas Tech. He plans to make his way to South Bend for the spring football Blue-Gold game in April.

Amerson hopes to learn more about Notre Dame on his visit.

"I don't know much about the school personally, but I know about the football team," said Amerson. "I used to play with them on (the video game) NCAA. I don't know too much about the school as a whole."

These two summaries represent just a sample of the Notre Dame football recruiting information available each week on Irish Eyes. Top Stories