After a down year in 2018, 2019 projects to be a much better year for recruiting in the state of Virginia. Virginia Tech will likely end up with no more than 5 in-state commits in 2018, but are pushing hard for a larger in-state class in 2019. One of those targets is LB Dean Ferguson from Northern Virginia.
Dean Ferguson currently has offers from Virginia Tech, Maryland, Virginia, Rutgers, Old Dominion, and East Carolina. Ferguson is rated as a three-star recruit by Rivals and the 247 Sports Composite. Ferguson is ranked among the top 25 recruits in Virginia by Rivals and the 247 Sports Composite.
Dean Ferguson was offered by the Hokies in mid-September as a linebacker and lately, Virginia Tech has made a big push for Ferguson.
Ferguson told us that he's been in contact with Virginia Tech the most recently. Other than that, Ferguson told us that it's been "pretty equal" among the other schools involved in his recruitment.
Ferguson visited VT for their game against Clemson and said that he "really enjoyed it." Ferguson said that the fans were "wild" and that this visit allowed him to see "how crazy the game day environment is."
Brian Mitchell is leading the charge for the Hokies and is building a strong relationship with Ferguson. When we asked Ferguson about his relationship with Mitchell, he said, "He's a cool guy. He's nice and straight forward. He just tells it how it is with no fluff."
That's a strong complement for Mitchell and a good sign that the Hokies have interest from Ferguson. Though Mitchell won't be his position coach if he chooses VT, building a strong relationship with his main recruiter now is a great start.
Dean Ferguson has a mix of schools recruiting him as a LB and a DB, but linebacker is where I would project him. Ferguson is comfortable in coverage, but he is much more effective in the box with the closing speed to fill gaps quickly and prevent opposing runners from getting loose. Ferguson shows his comfort in coverage, having the skills to play some man coverage, but also being adept at working as a spy.
In some ways, Ferguson reminds me a little of current VT commit Alan Tisdale. Both players had the versatility to play either LB or DB, but both are better fits at linebacker. Tisdale is better than Ferguson in coverage, but both can make plays in the box and are quality run defenders. Both players also have similar at 6'3'' with Ferguson being about 10-15 pounds lighter than Tisdale.
If Ferguson ends up at VT, whip linebacker seems likely to be where he plays due to his versatility. Backer could also be a possibility, but based on the offers that have been sent out, Bud Foster seems to be looking at Ferguson as a whip LB.
Virginia Tech appears to be the on-paper favorite early on for Ferguson, but his recruitment is likely to change in the coming months especially if more offers come. Ferguson told us that Penn State, Michigan State, Notre Dame, West Virginia, Pittsburgh, and Wake Forest have all shown interest in him. An offer from one of those schools would be notable, but they would all have ground to make up on the Hokies.
Virginia Tech is off to a strong start with Dean Ferguson, and are positioning themselves well early on for the talented Northern Virginian.
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