Ego Ferguson is Scout.com's No. 13 rated defensive tackle, but he isn't going to be happy until he's proven that he belongs at the top of the ranking. During the first two practices for the U.S. Army All-American game, Ego has been one of the top defenders on the East squad.
"I always feel like I'm the underdog in situations like this," Ferguson said. "I never feel like I'm the big talk of the conversation. I always feel like I've got to worker harder. I want to come out here and prove I'm the best in the country. I feel I can compete with anybody at any level. I always feel like there's a bigger name out here than me. Whether it's on the West or on the East, there's always a bigger name out there. Until I make it to the top, I feel like I'm the underdog.
"You can't settle either. You always got to work, even if you are the best. To be the best you have to beat the best and that's what I'm trying to do. I'm trying to compare every day. I'm still the underdog. That's just the mentality that I have. I'm always going to stay hungry.
"I've been trying to prove that I can play the power rush and show my speed," he said. "So far, I've been powering everybody and showing people my strength. I'm trying to show people that I can do it both ways. I can go inside and out. I can do power moves and speed moves.
Ferguson doesn't have to prove anything to the college coaches. Ferguson is has scholarship offers from most of the top programs in the county, but he's narrowed his final list to LSU, California, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Miami, Florida State and South California. Ferguson has already taken official visits to LSU, California and Notre Dame.
"I have two visits left," Ferguson said. "One is to Oklahoma and the last one I haven't decided yet, and it's between Miami, Florida State, UCLA, and South Carolina."
Despite the coaching change at Notre Dame, Ego hasn't dropped the Irish.
"I've talked to coach Kelly twice already," Ferguson explained. "He seems real cool right now. We just talked about me being a cornerstone of his first class. I'm just waiting to hear from their defensive line coach and their defensive coordinator. I want to give coach Kelly a chance and see how they're going to use me at Notre Dame.
"I didn't think it was coach Weis' fault for what was going on with Notre Dame, because they were scoring points and he was the offensive coordinator. I think it was the personnel and what they had on the field and what they needed. Seeing him leave was sad and it made me fall back on Notre Dame a little.
"After talking to coach Kelly, I'm going to give them a chance," he said. "I'm trying to be realistic. I know coach Kelly has won everywhere he's been and I'd like to get a chance to play right away. Hopefully, if I can get that I could go to Notre Dame."
Although the relationship with the new Notre Dame staff will be important moving forward, the education Notre Dame offers has kept the door open while Kelly settles in at his new position.
"Notre Dame is all about academics," Ferguson explained. "Most people don't take academics seriously, but it takes you a long way in the world. Most people have a degree now, but Notre Dame is the best of the best. It's one of the top academic schools in the country.
"The academics speak for themselves, that's one thing I'm real big on. It's also getting a relationship with the coaches and seeing how early I can get on the field."
Ferguson Trying To Prove A Point
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