Oday Aboushi chose Virginia, in part, because of D’Brickashaw Ferguson.
And now, the Jets rookie offensive tackle finds himself just steps away from one of his idols on the Florham Park practice field.
“Brick’s one of the reasons why I went to Virginia,” the Staten Island-born Aboushi said of Ferguson, a three-time Pro Bowler. “They churn out great offensive tackles. I look up to Brick. He’s a great guy, a great player and one of the best left tackles.”
Aboushi didn’t know Ferguson before the Jets drafted him in the fifth round back in April. But the veteran left tackle already sees potential in the rookie lineman.
“He’s a very smart player,” said Ferguson, a Freeport native. “And I think [the Jets] knew that when they brought him in. He’s also a guy that has a lot of physical talents and if he just continues to grow and do those things, it’ll be good. And it’ll be a nice play here for him.”
Tight bonds typically form between players who share the same alma mater. But Ferguson – who had his college jersey retired in a September 2012 halftime ceremony, along with former Cavalier and current Texans QB Matt Schaub – said he feels an obligation to look out for fellow Virginia alums.
Especially those who play on the offensive line.
“I always hold Virginia in a special place in my heart and I like when I see guys come out of there,” said Ferguson, who has started every game for the Jets since he was drafted fourth overall in 2006. “We have our own little network. It’s just good to see guys go through the same institution that you’ve gone through. We have a certain type of heritage when we come out of Virginia – especially for the offensive linemen. Brendan Albert [Kansas City Chiefs], Eugene Monroe [Jacksonville Jaguars] – and now [Aboushi] is added to that list. It’s just good to know that we can make our splash in the league.”
Aboushi said he’s grown more comfortable with the play-calling since the start of OTAs. But whenever questions arise, he knows Ferguson, 29, is willing to impart wisdom to him and the rest of the young linemen.
“He’s a real stand-up guy,” said Aboushi. “He’s one of the best in the league to do it and he’s very humble about it. He’s always trying to give us tips, trying to put his two cents in whenever he can. We do have that common ground of UVA, so it’s been great."