Posted by: marcmwm | June 1, 2009

Ferguson talks Iowa

Anthony Ferguson hasn’t visited Iowa City with his family. For now, they’ll have to take his word for it.

The 6-foot-2, 280-pound defensive tackle committed Sunday to play football for the Iowa Hawkeyes. He picked Iowa over Penn State, a place closer to home. Head coach Kirk Ferentz, the Iowa staff and the Iowa City setting put the Hawkeyes over the top.

“It’s just amazing there,” said Ferguson, who joins Gilman School (Baltimore, Md.) teammate Jim Poggi as an Iowa football commitment. “When Jim, my coach (Biff Poggi, Jim’s dad) and I went out there, it was just amazing. That’s what sold it for me.”

Ferguson’s choice came on the heels of a weekend visit to Penn State, which was the first school to start recruiting him. Iowa was second. Ferguson also had offers from Virginia and Duke. He said his family will take the trip to Iowa City as soon as possible.

“Jim’s going to Iowa, too, so that had a little to do with it,” Ferguson said. “He’s a great guy and it’ll be nice to know someone out there. But I can just see myself at Iowa.”

Ferguson is a bona fide defensive tackle with a defensive tackle’s body. He has previously been listed at 255 pounds, but is now in fact up to 280.

“I’m not sure how much good college weight there might be, but more muscle mass is where I’m trying to head,” said Ferguson, who’s twice visited Iowa. “I’m going in as a tackle, I know that for sure.”

Ferguson put up a 39-9 record in wrestling during his sophomore year. He sat out last year, but plans a return his senior year.

Ferguson is the fourth verbal commitment for the 2010 class. He joins linebackers James Morris, Austin Gray and Poggi. Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said last month that Iowa’s recruiting class could be as small as 15 and as large as 20.



  1. Another nice pickup for the good captain’s troops.

  2. E, great kid, too. I sense this is a good fit, especially in the character department. Plus, this is a DT, a legit DT prospect. Was Colin Cole the last one of those to sign with Iowa? (Not saying King/Kroul et al weren’t legit, but Ferguson is coming in as a DT. That’s the difference. MK and MK became great DTs.)

  3. Don’t know why the Hawkeyes rarely sign bona fide DT prospects. They seem satisfied to move a guy over from another position. Can’t argue with success, but wouldn’t it be great to have a pair of run-stuff DTs to go with Clayborn and Ballard?

  4. SJ, one reason is they are hard to find. Ferentz always compares it to finding a good 7-footer in basketball. The only one tougher to find is a pure cover corner.

    The smaller 280 pounders fit Iowa’s scheme, which is gap control and endless effort. Also, they stunt on nearly every passing down, which takes a ton of energy. I think the Iowa staff doesn’t believe it can afford a one- or two-down player. That said, they could see rotation on passing downs this year with Binns.

    I’ve talked to hundreds of recruits. I was struck by Ferguson’s easy-going manner, courtesy and niceness. Seriously.

  5. Marc –

    With regard to your experience with Ferguson … that’s probably the very reason why Iowa resonated so much with him. The very nature of Ferentz and how nice Iowans are … definitely are positive selling points for the Hawkeyes.

  6. Homer nailed it…….”it takes one to know one” is true when it comes to character IMO. : o )

  7. “Ferguson’s easy-going manner, courtesy and niceness.”

    Aren’t those the classic qualities of a defensive lineman?

  8. As Marc said DT’s along with Corners & OT’s are the most coveted positions in the NFL and it is mostly because of the universal law of supply and demand. There are precious few studs out there and Iowa’s formula for success is honestly as good as any. Get Lbers or maybe full backs who are athletic and rangy but aren’t necessarily quick enuff off the edge or in space and make them D-tackles or DE’s. Especially true in Iowa’s scheme as they flop around on the line and stunt so much as was said.

    Frankly with the spread so prevalent anymore, if you do a little research you’d be shocked to find out how light some of the D-tackles are at many of the upper echelon BCS schools. At D-end this is doubly true and it is telling how far ahead of the curve Iowa really was. Also ironic as Iowa has often, albeit erroneously, has been accused of struggling with the spread when in reality they probably play it as well as most. It plays into their scheme, personnel & theories quite well actually.

    Finally Iowa hasn’t had a lot of success with High school DT’s going back past Jackson, Ettore, Kittrell and Escheratui (sp?) to Larry Thomas, and others……………..whether it be injury or grades?!


  9. Chad, excellent points.

    Iowa has always played the spread fairly well. The exception, at least in my memory, is when Indiana had it going with ARE and Kellen Lewis. I’ve written it before, but one of the biggest wins in KF’s tenure was the 2001 victory over Indiana and ARE. It made them bowl eligible and showed that the NW win the year before wasn’t a fluke. This team had a defense and coaching staff that knew what it was and where it was going.

  10. It’s nice to see the Hawks beating out some of the big boys for some recruits.

    But, I don’t think Penn St is crying too much. I see on Scout that their 5 commits are 2 five star, 2 four star, and 1 three star.

    They’ve got the 3rd ranked QB, the 2nd ranked WR, a 2nd ranked LB, and IIRC, the 8th ranked OL.

  11. Yes Iowa’s kryptonite is a dynamic, athletic QB with wheels who has an above average arm as well. I/e: ARE, Lewis and Troy Smith……guys who can stay alive in the pocket and break us down on the run. It isn’t even the designed runs that have killed us, but the freelance stuff.

    Those guys eat our lunch. To be fair however that guy eats everyone’s lunch. Vince Young anyone?!?!?!?

    The Texas Tech type spread or even the West Va/Illinois type spread option is defended by us better than most. For the record and in my humble opinion Juice Williams is no Kellen Lewis. He doesn’t run as well or throw as well. Too me he is the most over hyped player in College football who is good for about 3 or 4 big games a year and I am convinced The Illini would be better with McGee at QB

    Just my opinion,

    Chad McCleary

  12. To be fair, Juice played well enough against Iowa last year. Not great, but he made some plays.

    I’m not sure what he is in the NFL. Maybe a Josh Cribbs type. Remember Josh Cribbs, the Cleveland special teams all-star? He played against Iowa as an Akron Zip.

  13. Philbin, no doubt. Penn State is fishing from very different waters. But, this year, Iowa is winning some battles.

    James Morris’ recruiting would be near the levels of A.J. Derby’s right now if he hadn’t closed it off nearly two years ago now. I think Austin Gray will get more offers. Poggi had good offers.

    I still think this is going to be a small class, maybe the teens.

  14. Cribbs was and is an absolute stud and Williams isn’t near the premiere athlete Joshua is. Being fair as you said, I certainly agree Juice played well enuff for them last year and he is a more than serviceable college QB. He just isn’t the elite All-star level QB many desperately try to make him out to be. Again in my opinion of course but I watch copious amounts of college football and there are at least 20 Qb’S including McGee I’d prefer and I’m not talking about Bradford, Tebow and the McCoy types. But rather the Reesing’s Kapernicks, Hiller’s, Hall’s, LeFevour, Grothe’s and Keenum’s, Grifith’s etc………… Maybe even Stanazi, though I’m trying not to be a homer…………….LOL

    Williams just doesn’t do it for me. He isn’t near as good a runner as some postulate and though he has a cannon for an arm he is very hit and miss. Maybe it’s just coaching, but I personally think he has lived off his so-called athleticism his whole career and never really improved.


  15. “Maybe it’s just coaching.”

    I think you’re onto something there, Chad.

  16. […] Anthony Ferguson, DT, 6-2, 280, Gilman School (Baltimore, Md.) […]

  17. […] . . . From, this story talks about Ferentz and Maryland. . . . Here’s the story I wrote when Ferguson committed to the Hawkeyes. (He committed before visiting IC with his family. […]

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