It has been a whirlwind spring for Saint Clairsville, Ohio, sophomore linebacker Michael Ferns. After picking up his first offer of the process two months ago, he has since added eight more. His latest comes from the Pac-12 Conference.
"Stanford offered me today," Ferns said. "I had no expectations of that happening as soon as it did. I knew Coach [Ron] Crook was coming to visit me, and when he came around they offered. They don't usually offer kids as young as I am, but I am excited to visit out there later this summer."
Ferns said he could extend his trip out West to see other schools in the region if more offer, but he knows for sure he will be in Palo Alto over the summer. The eight other schools that have offered him are Boston College, Bowling Green, Duke, Marshall, Notre Dame, Ohio University, Virginia and Wake Forest, and he plans to see each of those schools as well.
"I definitely plan to visit those nine schools," Ferns confirmed. "As it stands right now, I plan on visiting all the schools that have offered me unless that list becomes real big by the time summer rolls around.
"I definitely think I will be visiting a couple camps here and there. One will probably be Penn State. I've talked a lot to Coach [Charlie] Fisher and he came by the school today.
"Another coach I really like to talk to is Coach [Jim] Collins from Duke. He's really impressed me and is just fun to talk to."
Now with nine offers and still in his sophomore year of high school, Ferns has had to deal with a lot of college attention at a very early age.
"I didn't expect any of this to happen as soon as it did and to the extent it did happen. It started off with Marshall and escalated from there," Ferns said. "It has all been real exciting knowing that Division I college football coaches are giving me a chance to play at a big-time school."
Although the offers have started to roll in early, a decision is not necessarily on its way. Ferns is just beginning to research the opportunities in front of him.
"I'm pretty open-minded when it comes to everything," he said. "I'll narrow it down to five or six at the end and work off that."
The 6-foot-3, 235-pound Ferns has been a varsity starter since the first game of his freshman season. Last fall as a sophomore he registered around 130 tackles in 12 games.
Ferns is also a standout in the classroom. He carries a 4.0 GPA and made it very clear that academics are his first priority in selecting a school.