Ferguson anxious to finally bring No. 2 out of retirement
IT was Chad Owens who bequeathed him No. 2. It was Owens who personally asked him to wear it, because Owens knew, just KNEW that Jason Ferguson would be the next guy to play with his electricity, would be the next Hawaii slotback-slash-return man to match Owens' own penchant for breathtaking moves and game-changing plays.
He wore it once. One play, the opening kickoff, the first play of the first game of the 2005 season, against USC.
Now here it is, spring practice, 2007, and it's been a long road. A long, long, long, long road. Yesterday, he did some jogging, during individual drills, caught a few passes as the quarterbacks warmed up.
"Days like this," he says, "I wake up, I was just hyped."
This was a good day, for the knee.
"Another day of my life," Ferguson says after practice. "Another day. Still working. Still being optimistic."
Still there. Still refusing to quit.
Here he is, after missing two full football seasons, still recovering from his second surgery since that single play. That's how badly his knee was messed up, he had to have another surgery about a year after the first one, just for scar tissue. He's still coming back.
Yet he's still out there. Still believes. Works. Hangs with the guys. Does his rehab. Acupuncture once a week.
Acupuncture? Does that work?
"I mean, I can't really say it's been working yet, but why not? You know what I mean? I've been doing everything. I've been doing that, I've been doing shiatsu. I've been doing literally, dog, everything in my power, everything in my power to get back on this football field. I have my own ice machine at the house. Load it with ice, dog, and it's good for 5 hours; ice it, 30 minutes at a time."
Where did he get an ice machine?
"Actually I had it from my first ACL in high school," he says.
That's what kind of luck with injuries he's had. This fate, for a guy who was going to be the next No. 2.
"I ain't going lie, man," he says. "There's days where I'm like, 'Do I even want to do this?' Because it's hard, the last three and a half, four years of my life, bro, I've been having to watch other people play football. And not even during games, but in practice every day. So it's like, it hits you some days. 'Do I even want to play any more?' But in the end, like, it's not in me to be ... those words, I can't even imagine them coming out of my mouth."
He draws energy from his "brothers." He does everything he can think of, keeps coming, doesn't quit. He's still here. Still believes. It was his ACL that was broken. He never has.
"I'm getting my degree," he says. "I'm a eat! That's my quote. Put that in there. He said, 'No matter what he does in his life, he's going to eat.' There's going to be plenty of food on my plate."