May 8, 2007
Ferrara's spring success impressed coaches
Following Michigan's final practice of the spring, U-M defensive coordinator Ron English said he felt comfortable with five defensive linemen. While the starters represented four of those mentioned, the fifth was debated as English avoided using a name. Adam Patterson? Greg Banks? Actually, he was referring to John Ferrara
The 6-4, 270-pound redshirt freshman from Staten Island, N.Y., found himself working consistently with Michigan's first unit as a fill-in for injured starter Terrance Taylor. With the opportunity, he impressed his coaches and teammates, who told reporters after practice he would be one to watch this fall. According to Ferrara's defensive coordinator at Monsignor Farrell High School back home, the second-year Wolverine could contribute significantly this season.
"We went out to dinner when he was home last week and he was very happy with the progress he had made," Mark DeCristoforo said. "If the season started tomorrow, he'd be the first defensive tackle to rotate in, and he also showed that he can be useful on the end. From my understanding of the way Michigan rotates and what John has been told, he'll play at least 25-30 percent of the defensive snaps during the course of a game."
Though he was rated only a three-star prospect by Rivals.com, Ferrara was also regarded as the third-best strongside defensive end nationally and the No. 7 player in the state of New York. He didn't arrive at U-M with quite as many outside expectations as classmates Brandon Graham (five stars), Patterson (four stars) and Banks (three stars), but he had personal standards and goals he felt capable of achieving, and with a relentless work ethic he has positioned himself to play a critical role in the fall.
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