Friday, June 15, 2012
Q&A with Justin Ferguson
By Matt Fortuna
Justin Ferguson's father, Jason, called his son's decision to pick Notre Dame a "no-brainer." Throw in the defection of receiver recruit Deontay Greenberry to Houston, and the opportunity will be there for Justin to earn early playing time. With Justin (Pembroke Pines, Fla./Flanagan) expected to arrive with other members of the Irish's 2012 recruiting class on Sunday, father and son were scheduled to embark on the more than 1,300-mile drive to South Bend, Ind., on Thursday. Earlier this week, Justin spoke with ESPN.com about the move.
Any bucket list before you go during your last free week to be a kid?
Justin Ferguson: Nothing I haven't done already, I want to just get there. I've got to focus, get serious. Football and school for me. So I'm just going to enjoy these last couple of days still free and then just going to get there and be ready to grind.
What are the feelings right now? How's your family dealing with it?
JF: Everyone's just excited for me. My family, friends, close friends -- everyone's just excited. They're all in my corner just to cheer me on.
Do you know what you're going to major in yet?
JF: Business management.
How much have you been in touch with other members of class?
JF: The only guys I really got a chance to meet personally, on a face-to-face level, none of them are going to Notre Dame anymore. Tee [Shepard], Deontay, they're not going anymore. But I've been in contact with most of the guys -- Nick [Baratti] and William [Mahone]. I haven't got to meet everyone.
What about the guys that are there now, Sheldon Day and Gunner Kiel? Have you talked to them about what the transition is going to be like?
JF: Gunner I haven't talked to. I talked to Sheldon once or twice, but I haven't really gotten a chance to talk to them in-depth.
This class obviously took a hit at the wide receiver spot. How do you plan on taking advantage of the opportunity for early playing time?
JF: I just want to come in and contribute to the team the best way I can. If that's playing the slot, if that's outside receiver, if I have to tackle -- anything.
Do you know what your jersey number will be yet?
JF: I wanted 81. I'm a huge T.O. fan. I like T.O. a lot, him and Dez Bryant. I like 81, but [John Goodman] has that, so that's off-limits. But 15 was my high school number. I made a big impact at my high school, so I just want to take that with me.
Any family ties to Notre Dame? How did they ultimately come into the picture?
JF: Location wasn't really a big part in my [decision], because I know wherever I go my family will be behind me either way, so that wasn't really a big part. But the biggest thing was I think it was the right place at the right time. They lost a couple receivers and they needed someone to come in, and I can definitely be that guy.