Photo by Devin P. Grimes / MTSU Sidelines
If you were at the Middle Tennessee game this past Saturday, chances are you may have overlooked defensive tackle Jordan Ferguson.
In the fourth quarter with the Panthers on the ropes, the big man stepped up and put the icing on the cake for the Blue Raiders.
Ferguson became the second MTSU defensive lineman to intercept a pass over the last two seasons (Raynard Felton picked one off against Bowling Green in 2016) after Walter Brady knocked an Alex McGough pass up into the air and into the hands of Ferguson.
“I was really excited, it was my first pick,” Ferguson said. “I really didn’t process it until after when the fans went crazy. I have to give credit to my boy Walter (Brady) for tipping it to me.”
— Anthony Fiorella (@A_Fiorella74) October 10, 2017
“(My teammates) were saying ‘It’s big time, keep going, keep focusing!'” Ferguson said.
Ferguson is no stranger to having the football in his hands, however. In high school, he was a 240-pound linebacker and fullback that played in a flexbone offense at St. Francis High School (Georgia) and a linebacker at Norcross High School (Georgia) his senior year.
As a junior at St. Francis, Ferguson tallied 15 touchdowns, three interceptions, 103 tackles, eight sacks and 30 tackles for loss.
In his Senior year playing linebacker at Norcross, Ferguson racked up 46 tackles in four games played (Ferguson missed the rest of the season due to an injury).
“I used what I learned at tight end and fullback to translate to the d-line,” Ferguson said. “The speed and pass rush transfer into learning how to play d-tackle, and I could use it to my advantage.”
When Ferguson arrived in Murfreesboro this summer, the coaching staff informed him that they wanted him to contribute as a defensive lineman.
“At first, I was kind of (nervous) about (playing defensive tackle),” Ferguson said. “I didn’t know if that was what I wanted to do, but when I came here and put the pads on, I never looked back.”
Over the past few months, the freshman has undergone a huge transformation physically to put him in shape to be a defensive lineman at the college level.
As a senior in high school, Ferguson was listed at 245 pounds. Now, MTSU has Ferguson listed at 280 pounds.
“I need to adjust my speed, that’s the biggest thing,” Ferguson said of his transformation. “I also need to cut down on my core, then I’ll be pretty good.”
Ferguson has been able to contribute valuable snaps for Middle Tennessee this season with the injuries they have seen on the defensive line. In five games, Ferguson has collected 10 tackles, four for loss and a pass defended to go along with his interception.
When Middle Tennessee is on defense, keep an eye out for number 91. He might just blow you away.