Anthony Ferla (5-foot-11 and 188-pounds) has received multiple awards and national recognition for his outstanding performance as an underclassman at St. Joseph Regional High School (Montvale, NJ). The recipient of back-to-back U.S. Army All-American Combine Invitations, an invitee as both a rising Sophomore (2004) and a rising Junior (2005), are perhaps two of the more prestigious honorable mentions. But, it doesn't end there.
Ferla was also a Nike Camp invitee as a Sophomore where he was 1 of less than 50 Sophomores/Juniors invited nationally. His outstanding performance at the Stanford University venue, punctuated by a 1st Group All Junior/rising Senior All-American selection helped earn him an invite the following year.
By now, it's not just Rutgers that is fully cognizant of who Ferla is, but numerous other coaching staffs from around the country as well.
A notoriously hard worker on and off the field, it is his work ethic and self-determination to get better, that has Ferla on the precipice of national attention.
"He lifts 4 days a week at Michael's One on One in Ridgewood. [He has] personal trainers and goes to speed training 2 days a week at Chuck Mound's in Randolph. He trains with a lot of Bosco and Bergen kids including Michael Ray Garvin. All in all the highlight tapes that are going out this week will evidence where he really stands in college's eyes. Whereas, the tons of letters he gets now, hopefully will turn into offers ... [only] time will tell ... he is working his butt off," stated Mr. Ferla, Anthony's father, in a recent interview with Scout.com.
"It's all about continuously getting better and better and better. There are "certain" criteria that we all know are wanted for 1-A kids and then 1-AA and then D-2. In Anthony's case, at 5-foot-10 and 1/2 and 188-pounds, as a DB he better be in the mid 4.4's or it will be difficult for him to be a top flight 1a kid. He already has the strength and good hips - he just needs 1 more step over the next few months. He currently is a legitimate 4.5 kid that needs to be a legitimate 4.45 in my opinion."
While Anthony has good speed for a corner (4.50 seconds in the 40-yard dash), this same speed becomes that much more impressive for a strong safety, a probable position for Ferla at the next level.
Combine statistics paint just one portion of a prospect's status. And while speed is not Ferla's forte (yet), his strength is. Ferla's combine verified 185-pound bench press is an noteworthy and impressive 19 repetitions. Most DBs plateau, at 185 pounds, well before 19 repetitions. And all this while Ferla is still a junior.
How exactly does Ferla use this strength on the football field?
"His highlight reel displays that he is a big hitter with very good hips and cover skills. His height may be an issue for free safety. With this in mind a lot of schools are expressing interest in him as a potential strong safety."
Perhaps better than any scout or recruiting guru could accurately determine based on some highlight clips is the impression made on another football coach. In this case, not just any coach, but, as he has come to be known, Antone Smith's coach at Pahokee High School - Coach Leroy Foster. Anthony had the opportunity this past summer, after striking a friendship with one of the nation's top back's at the Rutgers Summer camp, to visit southern Florida and train with Coach Foster and Smith. Coach Foster was left impressed:
Anthony came down for a week and stayed with us and worked out with Antone, Ricky Gary (2006-DB) and Andre Powell-2005 DB (Illinois signee) in July going into Anthony's Junior year…he showed GREAT speed and quickness as well as big time upper body strength…he has LOCK DOWN Corner back cover skills with a Strong safety physicalness…I was also very impressed with his hands ....he was a quiet kid that was very focused and coachable and worked his tail off.
Stay tuned to Scout.com in the coming weeks as we profile Anthony Ferla once more by taking a look at his junior year highlights.
Mike and the Big Dog LLC