Ferguson was impressed how the Shocker athletes from all the sports support each other.
The Cyclone just had a different feeling about the Wichita State track program. He felt a part of it and he was just a recruit.
He is no longer a recruit. Ferguson made it official Thursday when he signed with the Shockers in the OHS gym in front of his teammates, classmates, teachers, administrators, family and friends.
“Wichita State is getting a fine athlete and a pretty good person,” Ottawa track coach Mark Laws said. “They are getting a class act.”
Ferguson said WSU offered him that family feeling and it started last summer when he attended a thrower’s camp and worked with the Shockers’ throwing coach.
“We connected,” Ferguson said. “He was a really good coach. He knew what I was looking for. They started moving into the picture. I had it narrowed down to where I did not want to leave the Kansas-Missouri area. It came to Wichita State, Missouri, Kansas State and Kansas. That is as far as I wanted to go out. I like having my family there to watch. Missouri and Kansas State was really close.”
The visit made a big impression on him.
On his visit, his hosts were two athletes from Kansas. They took him around and introduced him to other athletes and showed him the campus. What he saw was a different perspective.
“The way they view in general sports,” Ferguson said. “Everybody is loving everybody else’s sport. It is a family and a community there within the athletics at Wichita State.
“The track team, the sprinters know what the throwers are doing. Long distance runners know what the jumpers are doing. Everybody is excited to see you do well in your event and knows what you are doing. That to me is huge. It is a family. They make it fun. Track can be boring at times.”
The thing that drew Wichita State over the top was the way the track team supported him at an indoor meet.
“All the track and field athletes were there watching me throw because I was a recruit,” Ferguson said. “I had not signed. It was a fun environment.”
Ferguson was selected the 2013 Kansas Gatorade track athlete of the year. He ranked ninth in the nation in the shot put (63 feet, 6 inches) and discus (199-1). Both of those marks are eighth all-time in Kansas.
“He wants to be the best thrower in the history of Kansas,” Ottawa thrower’s coach Evan Shaffer said.
Ferguson said, “It was a really good year last year. It is nothing compared to what is going to happen this year. What drives me is the expectation to be the best.
“They expect big things out of me. With a full ride, you have to perform. I can’t wait to show them what I can do.”