Neither Jazz Ferguson or Myles Ward played for the Northwestern State football team in 2017, but when they hit the field last fall, each made their mark distinctively.
Monday, they were rewarded with another round of All-America honors. Ferguson, a junior receiver, was a second-team pick on the Phil Steele FCS All-America Team while Ward, a redshirt freshman kick returner, made Steele’s FCS Freshman All-America squad as a third-team selection.
The veteran college football analyst announced his FCS All-America squads in the wake of Saturday’s national championship game won by North Dakota State. Ferguson received his fourth All-America recognition, previously included on the Associated Press, STATS LLC and Hero Sports squads. Ward was also honored by Hero Sports on its Freshman All-America team.
Ferguson, who began his college career at LSU, made a year’s wait worth it at NSU. After a season on the scout team in 2017 establishing his academic eligibility, he set six school records while earning All-Southland Conference and All-Louisiana Offensive Player of the Year honors with 1,117 yards receiving on 66 catches, scoring 13 touchdowns and averaging 101.5 yards receiving per game for the Demons.
The 6-5, 220-pounder from St. Francisville and West Feliciana High School ranked in the NCAA FCS top 20 nationally in four stats: sixth in receiving TDs, ninth in receiving yards, 14th in receiving yards per game, and 20th in receptions per game (6.0). In his only year at NSU, announcing last month that he will be a candidate for the NFL Draft, Ferguson was a key figure as the Demons were sixth nationally in team pass yards per game (320.9).
Ferguson’s six school records: yards in a season, TD catches, receiving yards per game, 100-yard receiving games (six), TD catches in a game (three, at Abilene Christian). Following a two-point conversion catch with 27 seconds left to force overtime vs. No. 18 McNeese on Nov. 10 in Turpin Stadium, his two catches in the second OT, a 19-yarder down the middle followed immediately by a six-yard fade route, won the game. Ferguson made an instant slash with a season long 71-yard catch and run for a touchdown in the opener at Texas A&M.
Ward made his Demon debut a year later than hoped, thanks to a shoulder injury that sidelined him for his true freshman season in 2017.
Ward, a 5-10, 184-pound redshirt freshman speedster from Harvey and De La Salle High School, owned a 25.6 average on 28 kickoff returns that ranked 21st nationally, second in the Southland. He had a 94-yard touchdown runback to open the second half in the season finale at Stephen F. Austin to start a winning rally from a 16-7 deficit.
Ward also got spot duty at running back and receiver in 2018 and figures to be a bigger part of the NSU offense going forward. He was a second-team All-Louisiana pick as a return specialist.