Ferguson vying for an offer

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CORNELIUS, N.C. — A number of multi-BCS offer-holding quarterbacks came out for the Charlotte Nike Football Training Camp last weekend.

Among those was Riley Ferguson from David W. Butler High School in Matthews, N.C.

FOX Sports Next's 46th-ranked QB in the country fell short of taking home quarterback MVP honors and is still thirsty for an invite to Nike's The Opening event in early July.

"I definitely want to go there, but I thought I did as good as I could today," Ferguson said in reference to The Opening. "I'm just going to keep working hard and hopefully I get an invite."

Whether he trips to Oregon or not, the right-hander says the camping circuit has helped him progress.

"It helps you a lot because putting pads on, that's just another step to the game," Ferguson told InsideTennessee. "You have to learn all the basics first. Without pads on it gives you a better perspective of just throwing. It's different because you have to turn your shoulder more in shoulder pads. Working without anything on is probably one of the best things you can do because you can get the most out of it."

While Ferguson presently has 11 offers, he doesn't have one yet from Tennessee. Volunteer running backs coach Jay Graham was in the Tar Heel State recently and let the Bulldog QB know the Big Orange has interest.

"He wants me to stay in contact and come to campus to get a tour and stuff like that," said Ferguson, who mostly hears from offensive coordinator Jim Chaney and recruiting coordinator Darin Hinshaw.

The three-star prospect plans to visit Knoxville this summer.

"I've never been but I've heard it is nice though," he said.

A school he has seen already is Alabama.

"I loved it," Ferguson said. "It was unbelievable. People say you can't get an opinion of it until you go there. I didn't understand that until I actually went there, and I loved it."

The only other Southeastern Conference school besides Alabama to offer thus far is LSU. That number is expected to increase long before National Signing Day approaches. He is giving all schools a fair shake as the offers come in.

"I'm just taking everybody into consideration right now," Ferguson said.

He is among a deep crop of North Carolina prospects.

"Last year it was pretty good but it didn't seem like it has usually been," Ferguson said. "But this year is going to be a whole lot better. There are a lot of great athletes out here. Everybody here is pretty much unbelievable D1 recruits. There's a lot of good talent in North Carolina."

Ferguson admits he fits best in a Pro-Style offense, which is the same scheme that he runs on the prep level.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pounder said he'd like to verbally commit to a school this summer so he can concentrate on his senior season.

With Ferguson leading a talented Bulldog roster, expectations are high. They fell in the sectional round of the NCHSAA state tournament last season, falling at Page 40-26. Their QB boldly stated that they plan to win their final game this fall.

"We should definitely win state. We will when state," said Ferguson, who guided an offense that averaged 46.2 points per game.

He is part of a highly-scouted senior class at Butler that includes four-star middle linebacker Peter Kalambayi and three-star wide receiver Uriah LeMay.

"It's definitely beneficial throwing to people that are athletes just like you, getting recruited by high D1 schools and stuff like that," Ferguson said. "It's unbelievable to be playing with them not only in college but in high school. It's pretty crazy. It is a great opportunity, and I am just taking it all in. I'm going with it as long as I can because we only have one more year left."

He has heard from both the U.S. Army and Under Armour All-American games and noted that "whichever one I hear from that will probably be the one I commit to."

Ferguson will not enroll early at the college of his choice. He also has not decided on a major or taken the ACT. He reports his current grade point average is 3.25.

"Ferguson is a gun-slinger back there at quarterback," FOX Sports Next national analyst Chad Simmons said. "He is a signal-caller that really trusts his arm and believes he can make any throw. He can force balls at times, but he gets balls into many tight windows as well. He throws the ball good outside the pocket, he has good mobility, and he keeps plays alive when they breakdown. Consistency is where he needs to improve. He is a streaky passer with an above average arm."

Here is a look at Ferguson throwing passes at the Elite 11 tryout in Buford, Ga., back in early May:

Danny Parker is currently the Associate Editor, Recruiting Analyst and Staff Photographer for InsideTennessee.com. He was previously the sports editor at Shelbyville Times-Gazette. He joined the InsideTennessee team July 2011.

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