All-Area Large Schools Football Defense: Chanler Ferguson, Atlantic


By the time Chanler Ferguson arrives on a college campus this fall, the Atlantic linebacker will have 14 years of football experience under his belt.

The 2015 Palm Beach Post All-Area Large Schools Defensive Player of the Year began playing the sport at age 4, and moved seamlessly from flag football to tackle football.

(RELATED: See the entire list of the Post's All-Area athletes for fall 2015)

By his sophomore season with the Eagles, Ferguson was drawing national attention.

He received his first letter from a Division I school — Georgia — as a 10th-grader, and since has picked up six offers, among them Akron, FAU, Toledo and Middle Tennessee State.

Ferguson doesn’t have a favorite among that group, and expects to take his time before finalizing his decision. National Signing Day is Feb. 3.

“I’m anxious to know where I’m going to end up,” he said. “I just want to know, but it doesn’t work that way. You never know what’s going to happen, especially with all the coaching changes.”

Wherever he ends up, Ferguson hopes to make as big an impact as he did at Atlantic.

A defensive leader since his sophomore year, he helped carry the Eagles to consecutive playoff appearances during the past two seasons.

Atlantic was District 13-7A runner-up and reached the regional semifinals in 2014, and this season clinched the District 10-8A title and advanced to the regional championship game. The Eagles finished 12-1.

“It’s been a pleasure playing with these boys,” said Ferguson, who finished the season with 110 tackles, five interceptions and one defensive touchdown. “They’re my brothers. It felt like a big family.”

Ferguson credits coach T.J. Jackson and the Atlantic coaching staff for helping him excel athletically and academically.

He’s been able to balance the demands of school and sports while at Atlantic — Ferguson also has wrestled for the Eagles — and hopes to continue in college.

“Being a part of this program really changed me off the field,” said Ferguson, who plans to study architecture. “I’ve made better decisions. I’ve learned that decisions have consequences. I’ve learned a lot on and off the field.”



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