BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WDRB) - Tyler Ferguson is hoping his fourth collegiate stop is the charm. The 6'4, 220 pound quarterback from Bakersfield, California is now calling Bowling Green home as he fights to land the starting job with the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers.
Ferguson passed for 223 yards on 17-of-26 passing in Saturday's Spring Game at L.T. Smith Stadium.
"I feel like I haven't played in football in about two-and-a-half years, so to be in a place that finally feels like home and to get a good spring game under my belt, it really feels good," Ferguson said after Saturday's Red-White game at WKU.
The graduate transfer from Bakersfield, California started his post high school career at College of the Sequoias in 2012 where he set passing records and was ESPN's 3rd-ranked JUCO quarterback.
Ferguson's next stop was Penn State in 2013, where he played in five games behind Christian Hackenberg. Ferguson then transferred to Louisville. He redshirted in 2014 and never saw action in 2015. It was time to move again.
Ferguson feels like he's found the right fit with the Toppers. He said in his previous stops, he felt like the "outcast."
"I enrolled early at Penn State and it really wasn't my team. It was Hack's team, and rightfully so. I got to Louisville and sat out," said Ferguson. "I was always the new guy."
He's the new guy again with WKU, but this seems to be a different vibe.
"Here, they've all welcomed me with open arms and I couldn't ask for a better spot."
Ferguson will have some work to do to win the job on The Hill. Redshirt sophomore Drew Eckels and South Florida transfer Mike White are also in the mix to replace Brandon Doughty, who left WKU after six seasons and setting multiple passing records. Eckels led the quarterbacks with a 19-of-24 passing performance for 322 yards and three touchdowns in the scrimmage. White was 14-of-23 for 125 yards and a touchdown. Doughty's backup Nelson Fishback returns this season. He was 8-of-20 for 209 yards and score.
"(Tyler) has a strong arm. He can make some throws up the field. With him, we just have to work on doing the small things and throwing on time and in rhythm and running the offense and not making bad mistakes," WKU head coach Jeff Brohm said after the spring game.
Brohm says there is no clear-cut favorite now as the starter, but he says it's a "close race."
The Hilltoppers open the season September first at home against Rice.
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