Sports

Eyes set on the draft

Bahamian football player Chris Ferguson has put his name in the hat for the upcoming National Football League (NFL) Draft, set for April 23-25 in Paradise, Nevada. Ferguson played his last collegiate game back in December, and since that time, he has been preparing for the draft.

Despite the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the draft will proceed as planned but all the public events surrounding it have been cancelled, the league announced on Monday.

Although the pandemic has slowed down persons socially, the former University of Cincinnati Bearcats offensive linesman said he has been working out on a regular basis.

“Where I train is like a one-on-one facility, so we don’t really worry about the big crowds – nine out of 10 times it’s just me and my coach,” said Ferguson.

Ferguson was not invited to the NFL Combine which allows NFL teams to have a closer look at players, but is confident that he has gotten the attention of a few professional scouts.

“Unfortunately, I wasn’t invited to the combine, but my pro day was close and there were a lot of teams coming out to see me. This whole coronavirus thing has really messed up a lot of guys’ chances to show themselves in front of scouts,” Ferguson said.

The massive Bahamian offensive linesman is working out in Orlando, Florida. He said that with help from his trainer, they have been working on flexibility, leg strength, upper body strength and keeping his football IQ sharp. He was also working on hand-eye coordination, hand placement, pass sets and run-blocking.

Despite not being able to get an invitation to the NFL Combine, the big man is very confident heading into the draft.

“We have been getting a lot of feedback from teams,” Ferguson said. “I am confident that I am going to get a chance for sure. I just can’t wait to get to training camp and show teams what I can do. Teams are going to get one of the hardest people if not the hardest working person in that locker room. I’ll bring great energy day in and day out and I am a great leader. They won’t get a guy who is hungrier than me. I’ll never quit and never stop working. I’ll never stop scratching and clawing for what I want and need for the team. I’ll sacrifice if I have to for the good of the team.”

Right now, Ferguson and his agent are looking at him being picked up in the fifth or sixth round. If he does not get drafted, he will hit free agency. He was tight-lipped about which teams have shown interest so far, but said he will reveal them later.

The Bahamian has been keeping up with the league’s offseason moves that have seen high-profile names changing teams. One such player is former New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady who is trying to finalize a deal to play for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ferguson is a fan of the Patriots and said they still have Bill Belichick, whom he calls the greatest coach. He still expects great things from them.

Ferguson has been in touch with his family members here at home to see how they are doing given the state of emergency proclaimed by Prime Minister Dr. Hubert Minnis in the House of Assembly on Wednesday in revelation to the coronavirus pandemic reaching The Bahamas. Ferguson wants Bahamians to take the coronavirus serious, stating that people are dying from it every day.

Ferguson said “we will get through this together” and that The Bahamas will once again show its tremendous resiliency.

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Simba French

Simba joined The Nassau Guardian in 2012 as a technical producer for Guardian Radio 96.9 FM. He joined the Editorial Department as a sports reporter in 2018. Simba has covered a wide range of sports stories, including the 2018 CARIFTA in Nassau, Bahamas. Education: College of the Bahamas, BA Media Journalism

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