Terrence Ferguson had an interesting January contenting to research the team he will play for after his senior season at Peach County High School in Georgia.
The nation’s No. 8 OT and No. 52 overall prospect (247Sports Composite ratings) for the 2021 class visited three schools for “Junior Day” type events in January.
Those were Georgia, Georgia and Alabama.
That’s right. There is no typo there. Ferguson used back-to-back weekends to reacquaint himself with the fit in Athens. That was no doubt fueled in part by the transition from Sam Pittman to Matt Luke as offensive line coach for the Bulldogs.
That was part of it, but not all of it. Ferguson is just starting to get to the point where it is time to research and carefully evaluate his college decision.
It was a unique step for him to visit Georgia on back-to-back weekends, but those miles back and forth from Athens served their intended purpose. The first trip? That went “great” in his mind.
How did he feel after the second straight trip to UGA?
“I feel it could be a good potential fit,” Ferguson told DawgNation.
The Peach County product has been on the national radar for some time. He plays for one of the most respected high school programs in the state of Georgia. When Georgia coach Kirby Smart gets on the subject of Peach County football in his press conferences, he often will marvel about the physical brand of football the Trojans are accustomed to playing.
The 6-foot-4, 300-pound rising senior could be a plug-and-play option at either guard or tackle on Saturdays. He has been a frequent visitor to check out Georgia over the past two seasons. The former teammate of Georgia WR Kearis Jackson has been around the program for a while now.
Check out his junior film below.
Terrence Ferguson: A mature outlook on a recruiting process
What would constitute an ideal crop of offensive linemen for the 2021 class? Ferguson’s name belongs on that list. There’s the chance that Ferguson plus Camden County’s Micah Morris plus Bleckley County 5-star Amarius Mims could become an ideal trio of in-state elite offensive linemen in the next cycle.
That would be something. Maybe even somewhat of a change-up to boot. If the Bulldogs could sign Mims (nation’s No. 13 overall recruit) and Morris (No. 44 overall) and Ferguson that would be quite a stout collection of elite linemen for the class.
They’d all come from the state of Georgia, too. The three of those guys have also been on a lot of visits together.
“We’ve definitely talked about it,” Ferguson said. “We have a group [text] chat with us three so we’ve talked about it. It is a possibility if it just plays out like that.”
When it came to Pittman moving on to Arkansas, the response from Ferguson spoke to something greater than just a connection with a universally-loved position coach.
“I’d say for me it doesn’t really change where they move on my radar because I still have another year,” he said back in January. “That’s a whole another year to meet with coach [Matt] Luke and see how he is. I’ve met him before and I know about him. He came to my school the first week he got the job at Georgia. That’s a whole year to see how he does and see how the program goes O-line wise with him there.”
“It shouldn’t affect me too badly.”
He’s been surrounded by a circle of good people. Whether it be his father, Jackson, other players at Peach County and just the coaches in that program.
A college decision, to him, should be more than just a player-to-coach relationship.
“Definitely,” he said. “I feel that’s where some players go wrong. I’m not trying to make that mistake and pick a school for just a coach. Because at the end of the day it is a business. If a coach gets offered a higher position and more money over here, then who wouldn’t take that job?”
“You don’t want to be the man who is on campus and feel stuck in the middle of the sauce because the coach you came there for has up and left. So I will pick a school for the school and then the coach second.”
Ferguson had an offer from Ole Miss but had yet to build a relationship with Luke before his trips to Athens last month.
“They still want me just as bad,” Ferguson said. “Coach Luke’s message has been that he wants me just as bad as ‘Coach Pitt’ did and then we are already texting.”
When Pittman left, there wasn’t a big shakeup for Ferguson. Mims verbalized that it was a much bigger deal for him, but he has since gotten a good feeling and a good vibe from Luke after his “Junior Day” visit back in January.
The Peach County standout had already built up a lot of things he liked about the Bulldogs.
“Overall the school and the head coach Kirby [Smart] and the tradition of winning at Georgia,” he said. “They’ve been to the SEC championship three years in a row. Just overall their production with developing lineman also stands out to me with the program.”
Jackson’s personality is not to go over-the-top with it, but he’s heard his thoughts about UGA. When Jackson chose UGA back in the summer of 2017, Ferguson was one of the guests who showed up at his commitment party.
“He definitely says it is a good place and the right place to be and stuff like that,” Ferguson said.
Terrence Ferguson: Position fit? Decision timeline?
The 4-star OT had some thoughts about his decision timeline.
“I’d say the earliest for me would be right before the season starts and my senior season,” he said. “Maybe late July or early August. The latest would be the early signing day.”
Those, as always, are subject to change.
Ferguson also said he plans to enroll early in January of 2021. He said he wouldn’t be worried about taking official visits during his senior season.
The thinking there is he felt that he would be able to compartmentalize his game week and Friday night game and then when it is time to take an official on the weekend, then that would be when he would let that trip dominate his thoughts.
“When the visits come, then I will do that,” he said. “I wouldn’t let it interfere with my school or anything with our season.”
He views himself as a left tackle in high school but seeks more versatility for the next level.
“I feel like I want to be more versatile,” he said. “Work on guard steps. Snapping the ball as a center. So wherever I go and wherever they need anybody anywhere, I can step in and that will just make me a better weapon for any program.”
What is he looking for in college fit?
“A winning tradition,” he said. “They also have a great history at their school of getting their linemen to the league. Especially over the past five years. Depth chart. But not saying that I want to come in and start the first-day type of depth chart. But where it winds up that if I come in and play well and do what I have got to do to make an impression, then I will have a chance to play early as a freshman.”