College football coaches know it is a dangerous game in the offseason.
Players are allowed more breaks, and are not always around the facility like they are during the season. As a result, it is no guarantee that players will be as committed to perfecting their craft when they go back home.
One Kansas player who didn’t have that problem was redshirt sophomore safety Davon Ferguson, who ended up being one of the standouts from this year’s spring game. Ferguson credited his work ethic as the reason why has his emerged this offseason.
"I think I just try to push my limits. Go as hard as I can go,” Ferguson said. “Even try to push my teammates when I can."
Last December, Ferguson returned home to Baltimore, Maryland. But he wasted no time figuring out his next move.
With the help of a former teammate, Ferguson linked up with two new trainers to develop a new workout routine. One of his trainers was former NFL defensive back Courtney Greene, who played three seasons for the Jacksonville Jaguars between 2009-11.
Ferguson’s only day off was Sunday. Every morning between Monday through Saturday, Ferguson worked on DB-specific drills. He then would work with Greene in the afternoon to improve his strength and conditioning.
Even though the season opener is still around the corner, Ferguson has already noticed the impact those workouts had on him.
"I definitely think working with (them) for the past the offseason has definitely elevated my game,” Ferguson said. “It has made me a better player. It got me ready for the Big 12."
Ferguson got a taste of it, albeit a small one, during his first season as a Jayhawk in 2018.
Last season, Ferguson appeared in four games at safety and on special teams before taking a redshirt. He recorded six tackles, including five solo stops. He had one interception for 12 yards and a pass deflection.
“Redshirting was the best thing for me to develop,” Ferguson said. "I learned DI, like how to work. Making sure I understand plays and coverages. There is mental things that can help me improve my game on a daily basis."
Still, Kansas fans have got a glimpse of what Ferguson could bring to the table this year as a member of a loaded secondary.
The 5-foot-10, 197-pound safety intercepted former West Virginia quarterback Will Grier, who is now with the Carolina Panthers, in Ferguson’s only Big 12 action last fall. Ferguson intercepted two passes, forced two fumbles and recovered two fumbles during his lone junior college season.
In KU’s spring game, Ferguson broke up three passes and delivered a 74-yard interception return for a touchdown. Yet Ferguson is willing to do whatever it takes to help the Jayhawks in the first season under head coach Les Miles.
"I'm definitely excited, it has been a long time coming from last year when I redshirted and played four games,” Ferguson said. “To this year, it is highly-anticipating to me. I feel like I really want to make a big impact on the team."