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Trent Ferguson has options
West Salem basketball standout offered a D1 football scholarship by the Ducks
At one of the first days of summer prep football camp last fall—I noticed a large body amongst the linemen at West Salem High School. West had just graduated the bulk of their experienced linemen from last season’s conference championship team. So—I wondered—who is that guy?
After maneuvering around to the other end of the field, I worked over to find Trent Ferguson wearing the gear. Now Trent (known to some of us as Trenton based on last year’s hoops roster) was one of West Salem High’s best basketballers, and a top post player locally. We chatted briefly, and he admitted that he had heard plenty about how pro athletes played more than one sport in high school—and so he came out for the football team.
At the time, Ferguson really could not play as he had injured a heel, and limped around at times. Still, it was easy to see the potential. 6-8, 300 pounds, Trent makes quite the imposing figure on the prep gridiron. It seems like an easy call for Coach Shawn Stanley to keep an eye on him.
Weeks later, I went to watch the West Salem at North Salem game, and saw Trent lined up at right tackle. Some injuries had helped him move onto the field, but he certainly was too fine a specimen to keep on the sidelines. Observing him on a few plays against the aggressive Viking defense, it was apparent Ferguson had the raw skills.
One week later, Trent was lined up in the season finale’ against Special District champion Sheldon. It was a game that the Titans lost 41-0. But what Ferguson didn’t recognize was that two line coaches from the University of Oregon were in the crowd, watching their sons play for the visiting Irish. They had been told about Trent more than once—and they watched and noticed.
Fast forward to this past weekend. As Trent recounted to the Statesman Journal’s Pete Martini (Niner strong, Pete), he got an invitation to a Duck game, and was later offered a full ride scholarship to play football for Oregon—which he announced on Twitter this past weekend. A longtime Duck fan, the enthusiasm in Ferguson’s post was readily evident.
I heartily congratulate Trent (and Pete) for the news of this scholarship offer. You could see this coming—although I wouldn’t have expected it after just four games of playing experience for Ferguson.
Still, the truth is that it is increasingly difficult to keep “diamonds in the rough” like Ferguson under wraps—so a pre-emptive offer makes good sense.
Trent’s ascendency to D1 football puts him on the same roster as former Titan Holden Whipple, who transferred to U of O from Northern Arizona. It would be “awesome” to see the both of them on the offensive front for the Ducks.
The story also reminds me of another local Salem-Keizer footballer who came to the sport late in his prep career—and is now playing Sundays in the NFL. Teagan Quitoriano has played football since he was a little kid, but didn’t wasn’t looked at as a major football force for Sprague High School until his junior year. His basketball prowess had gotten all the attention up until then, but his rapid development on the Oly footall team eventually landed Teagan a spot on the Oregon State football roster, where he was a solid blocking and pass-catching tight end for the Beavers.
Quitoriano was so impressive at OSU that the Houston Texans selected him in the fifth round of the NFL Draft in April. Teagan made the 53-man roster—and after healing up from an injury, he is now part of the tight end rotation for the Texans, catching his first NFL touchdown recently against previously unbeaten Philadelphia. His family has been expectedly excited about it all.
Trent Ferguson made an extremely wise choice when it comes to his sports future. A few of us will be watching to see how it all turns out.
Good luck, big fella.