Fordyce's Ferrell to be limited early on this summer at Arkansas

By: Dudley E. Dawson
Published: Sunday, May 27, 2018
Fordyce defensive lineman Billy Ferrell puts on an Arkansas hat during a signing day ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in Fordyce.
Fordyce defensive lineman Billy Ferrell puts on an Arkansas hat during a signing day ceremony on Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017, in Fordyce.

— Arkansas defensive line signee and former Fordyce standout Billy Ferrell won’t be 100 percent healthy when he arrives in Fayetteville, but the freak athlete doesn’t think it will be long before he is a full-go in summer workouts.

Ferrell (6-3, 335) had microfracture surgery on his knee in December after committing to and signing with the Razorbacks after a whirlwind courtship with new Arkansas head coach Chad Morris and his staff.

“I have mostly been just working to get my knee right,” Ferrell said. “I had microfracture surgery in December and have just been doing therapy since then. The coaches told me when I get up there that I will do some more therapy to make sure I am 100 percent ready before I get on the field (for voluntary workouts) and start practicing with them.

“I’m ready to get up there and get some work in, get bigger, stronger and faster and get ready to play SEC football. I am just ready to be up there with the new cast that is coming in.”

Ferrell had 63 tackles last season, including eight stops for lost yardage, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries while also returning 12 kickoffs for 419 yards, rushing for 136 yards and three touchdowns and also playing first base for his high school’s baseball team.

“I’ve always been able to move really well for a guy my size,” Ferrell said. “I’ll be glad when I am fully healthy again so I can get back to that.”

Ferrell will be fulfilling a dream when he puts on a Razorback jersey, but began to wonder if that was ever going to happen.

He had offers from Memphis, UCA and Colorado State before the second week in December when Arkansas, Alabama, Wisconsin and Louisville all came after him in a span of four days after he shored up his academics.

“I was working hard and asked my coach ‘when are coaches going to come see me? When am I going to get offers?’” Ferrell remembered. “He just told me to keep on working and that would take care of itself and they would show up after awhile. I was beginning to wonder.

“Then all of a sudden they started rolling in. It was the best week of my life.”

While his head was turned by the offer from Alabama, Arkansas was where he wanted to be all along and he liked what he saw from Morris and his staff.

“They seem like they want the best for us, not just the best for them,” Ferrell said. “They want us to grow as men and get better and not only to win on the field, but off of it as well.

“I feel like they are going to turn things around really quickly in Fayetteville.”

Ferrell is one of the freshmen that will likely have the best chance to play in 2018 as he could provide depth on the defensive line.

“It will be a matter of maturity and getting ready for the big leagues,” Ferrell said. “I will listen to everything the coaches say and work to get on the field as soon as I can.”

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