Their time as teammates has barely intersected long enough to create any long-lasting memories. But their bond as brothers — LSU long snappers Reid and Blake Ferguson — will always endure.
The last time they were on the same football team, the Fergusons were together for a semester at Georgia powerhouse Buford High School. Because Reid’s college career was on the fast track, which included a midterm graduation to attend LSU, Blake went on for the next three years to follow in the identical path created by his older brother.
Reid distinguished himself as one of the nation’s top long snappers — No. 1 by Scout and 24/7 Sports; Blake was No. 2 as a high school senior. Blake also signed with LSU, where he’s arrived just in time for his brother’s final season.
“It’s going to be a lot of fun,” Blake said. “Hopefully we can get a national championship out of it. My goal is to learn a lot from him; and if I play, I play. If not, that’s OK.”
Barring injury, the Ferguson reunion will have a one-season window.
Another set of LSU brothers — sophomore defensive end Sione and freshman offensive guard Maea Teuhema of Keller, Texas — have the benefit of enjoying a longer college career, potentially up to three seasons.
“It’s great knowing he’s here with me,” Maea said of Sione. “Our mom always wanted us to play together our whole lives, and that’s what is happening.”
If not for a coaching change, the Teuhemas would not have left their home state of Texas and would be wearing burnt orange and white instead of purple and gold. Both brothers said the departure of Mack Brown as head coach at Texas, where both were committed at the time, was the catalyst in them seeking an alternative place to play.
Tight ends coach Steve Ensminger, who recruited the Dallas area for LSU, persuaded the brothers, along with their parents, to make an official visit to LSU. With very little indication of an impending switch, Sione signed with LSU on national signing day, while Maea changed his commitment to the Tigers.
“We committed to play for an SEC school and a chance to win a national championship,” Sione said. “When we came here, the visit had a big impact. The (Cox Communications Academic Center) was impressive. I liked everything.”
Sione — a 6-foot-4, 251-pounder — found his way to the field last season because of his athleticism and quickness, relying on those attributes when LSU went to three down lineman packages. He registered seven tackles in nine games, including a pair of sacks, and is in a logjam at defensive end behind Tashawn Bower and Lewis Neal.
Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing 327 pounds, Maea casts quite a shadow over not only his own brother but most of his freshman classmates. Maea arrived at LSU with plenty of fanfare, a five-star recruit and the nation’s No. 1 offensive guard and Under Armour All-American.
He played right tackle at Keller but has moved to left guard, where he’s earned first-team snaps but is listed at second team with fellow freshman Toby Weathersby.
“I believe in my ability to help the offensive line this year,” Maea said.
Sione believes his younger brother is on track to establish himself in a playing role, evidenced by some of the video he’s witnessed in position meetings.
“When we watch film, sometimes instead of watching the D-line, I’ll watch him to see how he’s doing,” Sione said. “He’s doing good.”
Reid Ferguson’s had a firm grip on LSU’s long-snapping job since his arrival and doesn’t plan to relinquish his duties. Blake is serving as his backup and said he thinks he’s prepared, thanks to his brother, to play in the event of an injury.
“We’ve competed really well,” Blake said. “We sort of make a game out of it and make each better.”
Reid Ferguson has twice earned preseason All-America honors from Phil Steele, a reflection of his exemplary production on the field that’s included 372 total snaps (187 field goals/PATs and 185 punts) with only one miscue in 39 career games.
“You say this guy on the team is like a brother, and he is actually my brother,” Reid said. “He’s a guy you can talk to about anything, and he fully understands your position. That’s been helpful and something I’ve looked forward to for a while.”