Dean Ferguson can hit.
As far as football is concerned, that's the one thing you should know about him.
"He unloads like a good D-I kid should unload," said Potomac Falls HS head coach Paul Barnes. "He brings it, every time. He hits ya, he hits ya. He rattles your bones."
Last Friday Ferguson committed to Virginia Tech over finalists West Virginia, Indiana, and Michigan State.
Credit Bud Foster for earning that verbal, because Ferguson does. As he put it, the pair developed a special relationship via phone conversations that spanned beyond football.
"He's just a really great guy, really nice to talk to," said Ferguson. "Him being Coach Foster, one of the legends, you'd think he'd be this really distant guy, but he's the opposite. He's really just a down to Earth guy, really personable, and very easy to talk to."
In the days leading up to his commitment, Ferguson received his written offer in the mail. He pounced on the opportunity. He delivered the good news to Foster with a 10:00 PM call. His intentions were obvious.
"Wasn't really that much of a surprise, but you could sense the excitement in his voice," said Ferguson.
The Hokies recruited the 6-3, 218 pound, 247Sports Composite 3-star as a backer or whip.
"He's a Tech guy. When I talk about that, he's athletic, he understands the game, and I think he would fit in Tech's system," said Barnes.
"He's a very good athlete," he added. "He's strong. He's smart. The thing I like about him, there's two things. His competitiveness and he can hit. He's not afraid to hit."
Ah yes, that aforementioned thick shoulder.
Barnes, a former D-III coach, believes the learning curve, solvable by time, is the biggest impediment for his pupil at the college level.
"He understands football on the high school level, but I was a college coach for 28 years," said Barnes. "College football's totally different than high school. It's watered down. You run a lot of simple schemes. When you get to college, you run multiple coverages, multiple formations offensively, protections. It's so much more of a mental thing. He's tough mentally and physically, but when these kids get to that level, you got work on that."
Ferguson visited Tech 4-5 times now, most recently for July's Blacksburg Bash marquee recruiting event. Mission BBQ, pool, and bowling were highlights of his trip, and he plans to return to Blacksburg this season for a game.
"[Virginia Tech is] getting the total package with Dean," said Barnes. "Not only athletically, but as a person and academically."