Florida? Brendan Ferns Opted for Friday Night Lights Instead

By Kyle Rowland on July 26, 2014 at 10:00a

How important was an appearance at Friday Night Lights for Brendan Ferns? Enough to cut a family vacation in Florida short. The 2016 linebacker flew back to Ohio and then immediately drove from his St. Clairesville home to Columbus for the mega recruiting event.

Chris Ash gets the blame for spoiling fun in the sun.

“Coach Ash has been on my dad to come here,” Ferns said, with a smile. “It’s only an hour and a half away, so it's not really out of my way that much. Just a quick trip.”

Quick enough that he’ll be making an academic visit for petroleum engineering on Tuesday, making Ferns’ Friday Night Light stop and dash back from Florida all the more intriguing. He wasn’t a participant, opting instead to hang out on the field with some 200 high school players and hob nob with the Buckeye coaches.

Ferns holds offers from Ohio State, Oklahoma, Michigan State and Penn State, among others, with the Buckeyes and Sooners thought to be the front-runners for his services. His brother, Michael, will be a true freshman at Michigan in the fall. Brendan admitted it will have little impact on his decision.

“We don’t even talk recruiting. We don’t talk football. We’re just brothers,” he said. “[Michael] said, ‘It’s your choice, you have to do what you want.’”

An Ohio State commitment would thrust Ferns to the forefront of the 2016 class, and he would remain there as a headliner. Offensive lineman Tyler Gerald (Portsmouth) and athlete George Hill (Hubbard) are the only members of the class. Even though National Signing Day, 2016 is 18 months away, the class is expected to grow in the near future.

For Ferns, present day means a switch from outside linebacker to middle for his senior season. It became a possibility when Michael, a middle linebacker, was injured last season. Needing to clog the heart of the field, St. Clariesville coaches decided to move Brendan into a new role.

It’s a change he’s embraced and feels it’s only strengthened his abilities as a defender. Ferns becomes more well-rounded and creates options once he goes to college. If the Buckeyes are his choice, the versatility could prove to be an asset as they load up on linebackers of all shapes and sizes.

“It’s helped because I’ve gotten to see both sides,” Ferns said. “Everybody really likes my instincts at middle linebacker. They get to see the speed at outside linebacker, but then the instincts of a middle linebacker.”

The specifics of a college position have not yet been discussed, according to Ferns. It’s likely coaches will want to see how he adapts at middle linebacker before coming to conclusions about where to play him for four years.

Ferns has a built-in connection with the Ohio State coaching staff due to his brother’s recruitment. It led to Brendan and Luke Fickell forming a bond. He and Ash have been the lead recruiters.

“We’ve known [Fickell] for a while, and Mike actually really liked Coach Fickell,” Ferns said.  

The relationship with Urban Meyer is in the beginning stages, but Ferns was all smiles talking about his interactions with the person prospects deemed one of the most intimidating presences on the recruiting trail. Ferns spoke of a similar feeling when talking to the national championship-winning coach who demands near perfection – and often gets it.   

“It’s kind of like talking to a celebrity, it’s not every day you talk to a celebrity,” Ferns said. “He’s a down to earth guy. Once you start talking to him and you get to know him, it becomes easier and easier.”

It’s also easier when Meyer asks you to “join the crew.” That was his message Friday, Ferns said. The Ohio State head coach has another year and a half to add the hulking 6-foot-2, 222-pound linebacker to the Buckeyes’ 2016 class.

The Intimidator – or The Closer – usually gets what he wants.    


Comments Show All Comments

RunEddieRun1983's picture

The crop for 2016 in Ohio alone is astounding.  I'm pretty sure I counted 12 prospects within the first 100 or so of the 2016 top 247.  If we land those kids (say for the one kid going to scUM), add in Haskins, and some more key pieces, that's an elite recruiting class.

I don't always downvote, but I do always downvote a Michigan fan trolling the Buckeye boards.

+5 HS
buckeyestu's picture

I want this young man in scarlet and gray.

+3 HS
Holzjef's picture

I've read a lot about how Alabama and Florida State build their teams. Start by recruiting athletes for defense and then if those athletes can change the scoreboard then put them on offense. So my question is, are we recruiting more athletes for defense who can play most positions in the back 7 or are recruiting guys who are position specific? 

Jeff holzaepfel

KBonay's picture

In case you forgot, this is how he decorates his room. 

+12 HS
DCNick's picture

Yeah it would be a complete shock if he went anywhere other than Ohio State.

+1 HS
Abe Froman's picture

Obviously Petroleum Engineering plays a part in the decision right now.  How strong is Petroleum at OSU compared to PSU, Va Tech and even WVU?  If he is smart enough to think of the long term, it will weigh in his decision, as it should.  

Basking in the wake of mediocrity.....

BuckeyeOfTheTiger's picture

OSU doesn't have a dedicated Petroleum Engineering major or minor, but many of the chemical and mechanical engineering students I know were able to get jobs and internships at major oil companies.


+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

Winning. That is all.



wyatt's picture

It sure seems good if someone cuts short a vacation to watch football.  I want him playing in the horseshoe.

+3 HS
hit_the_couch's picture

That would be great if he turns out to be a stud (I think Urban only recruits studs, anyway),comes here, tOSU continues to curb stomp TSUN and he gets bragging rights over his brother for years flashing those gold pants.

And then I told her...i'm no weatherman, but tonight's forecast is calling for several inches!

+5 HS
CentralFloridaBuckeye's picture

Seems like he's got a bright future!  Sure how that he joins the 2016 recruiting class.  Nice to see even guys from future classes coming in to FNL and making an impact.  Those are some special players to be able to do that.

Go Bucks!

Buckeye Chuck's picture

If he's actually serious about petroleum engineering, I wonder if that might make Oklahoma tough to beat. There aren't many academic areas where they would be able to compete with us, but given that oil is the big industry in Oklahoma, that might be one of them.

The most "loud mouth, disrespect" poster on 11W.

+3 HS
bethesdabuck's picture

Good Thought. Does anyone know how good OSU's program is in that area?

unknownmusketeer's picture

Ohio State had a Petroleum Engineering within the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering (CBE) program, but low enrollment has meant no faculty currently teach these courses. Recent discussions may change this. The core CBE curriculum would only need a short series of courses to revitalize this program.

+3 HS
BME_Buckeye's picture

I don't recall Ohio state having a petroleum Engineering program. Not sure if this is true.

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.


unknownmusketeer's picture

In the 2007 Annual report, it discusses Professor "Slip" Slider, who majored in petroleum engineering at The Ohio State University. He later taught Petroleum Engineering classes at The Ohio State University. The caption indicates that the program has been combined with the CBE program.

It is hard to know this without a good deal of insider information.

BME_Buckeye's picture

O those ChemB's..... Can't live without them.

Look closely, because the closer you think you are, the less you will actually see.


BuckeyeOfTheTiger's picture

For my 4 years of chemical engineering (graduated in 2012) at OSU there were no petroleum engineering courses offered or talked about.  That being said, they may be in the process of adding some, I'm not really sure.  However, many of my friends in both chemical and mechanical engineering were able to secure internships and full-time jobs with major oil companies.  There are several professors in chemE who teach traditional process design and development classes that would be useful in the oil industry, as well as very good transport phenomena, fluid dynamics, rheology, and polymer classes that would also be useful.

TL;DR - OSU is a good place to be for those who desire jobs in the oil industry.


+1 HS
rjsmitty's picture

Should be a short visit then. Maybe we can show him the new waterfall.

"I don't wanna coach average! To hell with that!"  -UFM

+1 HS
buckeyedude's picture

I never actually attended OSU, but I am an expert in petroleum jelly, and my gut tells me Ferns to OSU.



+12 HS
buckeyedog's picture

Doesn't this kid know it takes millions of years to engineer petroleum?! 

+7 HS
mshaf's picture

The oil and gas industry is a hot item in Ohio, West Virginia and Pennsylvania right now. Lots of intern jobs there in the summer. Good hands on experience

+3 HS
okiebuck's picture

OU's program is real good but actually, I'm pretty sure the other OSU; Oklahoma State is a tad better. My daughter who is smart like my wife was recruited by both of them a few years ago. Although the Stoops boys have good ties in that area, I've got to think a kid from St. Clairesville is destined to be a Buckeye

"Fate has cards that it don't want to show"

Byaaaahhh's picture

I always see a decent number of recruits choose engineering. Just wondering if anyone knew how often football players stay in engineering. I'm just asking because when I think back to the times I spent all day in my engineering building working on homework and studying, I can't even imagine how there would be time for football.

+1 HS
FROMTHE18's picture
+5 HS
irishfury's picture

Question for the guys that are a little bit better at OSU history.  Have brothers ever played against each other in the game?

Jbuckham94's picture

Didn't the eldest Boren brother, Justin, start at michigan and then transfer to OSU? He might have played against Zach when Zach was a freshman, but I don't know.

After actually looking it up, Zach's first year was 2009, the same year Justin was first eligible to play for the Bucks.

Class of 2016. Go Bucks!

Buckabroad's picture

This kid is the real deal. Hope he joins the Buckeyes.

"The minute we stop expecting greatness, we become Wisconsin."