Alabama has been one of the most teams on the recruiting trail since May, and continued that momentum Sunday when ESPN 300 offensive lineman TJ Ferguson, No. 78 overall, committed to the Crimson Tide.
Ferguson is a 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive lineman from Peach County High School in Fort-Valley, Georgia, and is now the 11th ESPN 300 prospect for Alabama since May.
His decision eventually came at Alabama, Florida State and Georgia, but Ferguson said a personal touch from coach Nick Saban topped the Crimson Tide.
“Ferguson said,” Coach Saban will schedule a facetime or zoom call only once every week from March or April onwards. “Just knowing that, it makes me feel like a priority. After knowing the history there, I know it’s a fantastic program just like other programs, so you’re looking for something to stand out from And it was one of them. “
Initially, Ferguson was planning to take all five of his official visits, but the dead period created by the coronovirus epidemic prompted him to change his plans. He and his family needed to find a way to get enough rest with the staff to make their decision, not knowing when the dead period would end.
Saban’s video calls proved meaningful and helped the family achieve that comfort level with the program and with the coaches. Before forming a relationship with Saban, Ferguson was not sure what to expect from the head coach.
He had seen Saban’s business approach and talked to him before, but didn’t really know him on a personal level. Talking with him one by one, Ferguson got a chance to know a different side of Saban, which eventually led to a commitment.
“I definitely see where most people see him as a business, because I thought at the same time that I first met him,” Ferguson said. “When you’re thinking of Nick Saban, you’re not thinking in person, but just meeting him, though, and he’s looking like he’s changed a lot. Things that go from academic tourism, of course Football stuff, but this. Been doing a lot of things with me and my whole family about non-football stuff. “
Those video calls helped Alabama commit ESPN 300’s offensive line in four categories, and four ESPN 300 commitments over the past six days with twins Tommy and James Broeckermeyer and linebacker Kendrick Blackshear.
Ferguson also ranks the Crimson Tide nine commitments within the ESPN 300 top 150.
Alabama now has a total of 15 commitments to the class, and with Brokermeyer and Ferguson jumping on the board, the Crimson Tide should also move up the class rankings compared to the current spot at No. 13.