Picture Perfect

Published 2:50 am Wednesday, May 19, 2010

COAL GROVE — Learning a college playbook can be difficult, even intimidating.

But for Coal Grove Hornets senior Evan Ferguson it’s as easy as snapping a picture.

“When I see something, I memorize it. I have a photographic memory. I’m not expecting the playbook to be hard,” said Ferguson.

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The playbook Ferguson will be learning belongs to West Virginia Tech after the Hornets’ quarterback signed a letter-of-intent Tuesday to play for the Golden Bears.

Adjusting to the Tech spread offense is something that has Ferguson excited.

“They spread it and throw the ball. I can’t wait to play for (coach Scott Tinsley). I’m very excited,” said Ferguson.

The 6-1, 185-pound Ferguson completed 52-of-85 passes for 974 yards and eight touchdowns. Ferguson — who also played safety on defense — set a Coal Grove single-game record with 232 yards passing in a 50-27 win over Chesapeake. He completed just 8-of-11 including three touchdown passes.

Tech was 3-8 last season as Tinsley installed the spread offense. Ferguson said that was one of the deciding factors in his decision to play for the Golden Bears instead of Wilmington or Georgetown.

“It’ll be different, but it should be fun,” said Ferguson. “I know how to make good reads, I know when to take chances and how to manage the game.”

Ferguson brings some lofty credentials with him to the Golden Bears’ program.

Ferguson was a first team selection on the Division V All-Southeast Ohio football team by the Associated Press. He was named Special Mention All-Ohio by the AP as well.

“He’s smart, he runs the team and he makes good decisions. He can also run and we’ve put a few quarterback runs in our offense,” said Tech assistant coach Chadd Albright.

Tech has just three quarterbacks coming in this fall and only one retuning from last year who is a converted running back.

“It’s a wide-open job. Anyone can come in and take it. It’s a very good opportunity for me to play,” said Ferguson.

Albright agreed that Ferguson has a golden opportunity as a freshman.

“All three of our recruits are different. All three will do something well. One is a pocket passer and one kid from Florida is an athlete who can run. Evan has done both,” said Albright.

Coal Grove long-time head coach Dave Lucas is confident Ferguson has the tools to play for the Golden Bears.

“He had a good year. He has good awareness on the field and he throws the ball real well. That’s where he’s the strongest,” said Lucas.

Ferguson — Coal Grove’s first Academic All-Ohio selection by the football coaches association — plans to major in pre-med.

“My goal is to get a degree and a good education and to have a lot of fun playing and winning and trying to make the playoffs,” said Ferguson.

While Ferguson is looking toward the future, he has fond memories of his time at Coal Grove the last two years after leaving Spring Valley (W.Va.) and its wing-T offense.

“It was a great experience. I’ve met a lot of great people, players and coaches and there is great community support. I’ve had the time of my life,” said Ferguson.