Michael Ferns is (already) one of the most sought-after linebackers of the 2014 class. Ferns is from St. Clairsville, OH and stands 6'3" and 238 pounds. Although he's only just completed his sophomore season, Ferns already holds more than 20 offers including ones from schools like Michigan, Michigan State, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Penn State, Stanford, and Wisconsin. Although the only site with 2014 rankings out so far is 247 Sports, they rank Ferns very highly. They give him an early 4-star ranking and name him the 94th best player in the nation, the 5th best linebacker in the nation, and also the 5th best player out of Ohio for the 2014 class. As a sophomore, Ferns racked up 136 tackles.
I'll just cut to the chase. Ferns has a ton of offers, has visited quite a few schools, and has already come up with 3 finalists. That's right, finalists. He specifically said he doesn't want this list to be called his "top-3" because these are most definitely his finalists. They are Michigan, Penn State, and Notre Dame. Michael was also kind enough to spare me a few minutes for an interview. He is definitely one of the best interviews I've done, as he's a very mature young man and I'm sure that's one of the reasons coaches across the country love him. Check it out...
Me: How does it feel to have narrowed your list down to 3 finalists? Is it a load off your chest?
Michael: It has made it a lot easier to focus on the coming football season. I'm happy with my decision.
Me: What do you like about each of your finalists?
Michael: The three are very similar. All have a great campus feel, great staff, and high academic [standards]. I really wanted to find a school that had those three [things] and that's how I came up with the list.
Me: Anything that sticks out about one of the schools in particular?
Michael: [I'm] not really getting into specifics right now. I need more time to say I know enough about one [school] over the other.
Me: I'm sure you've noticed how early prospects are starting to commit to their universities. It seems every year, prospects are committing earlier and earlier. Do you have a decision date in mind or are you planning on taking your time?
Michael: I plan on [deciding] by the end of my Junior school year. By then, I'll [have] come up with my decision. I also won't be decomitting like some athletes do.
Me: Have you been getting any grief about not having Ohio State in your group or finalists? You are, after all, from Ohio.
Michael: Yeah, I expected it to happen. But really, it wouldn't be fair to them if I had a top-4 instead and they wasted their time on me if I didn't plan on going [there] anyway.
Me: That's actually very mature of you. I also read one of your tweets in which you said you planned on calling the coaches from schools who recruited you who didn't end up in your top-3. Do you see yourself as more mature player and a natural leader?
Michael: I've just been around older groups since I got to high school. I started Varsity as a freshman, so I was around Seniors most of my time. It's kinda rubbed off on me and made me the person I am now.
Me: You're lucky. Not a lot of people can say that and I think college coaches must love that about you.
Michael: My maturity level has been brought up a couple times. [It] just seems like it sticks out to coaches.
Me: Since you won't be committing anywhere for a while, do you have visits scheduled? Will you be attending the Big House BBQ at Michigan later this month (July 29th)?
Michael: I'll be at the BBQ and then I'll look at getting back to the 3 schools in the Winter.
Me: Do you have any goals for your Junior season?
Michael: Just making improvements on how I play, and I believe with the group we'll have this year that we can make a deep playoff run.
Me: Any final words?
Michael: Go Blue!