ST. CLAIRSVILLE - During the recruiting process for St. Clairsville junior Michael Ferns, it almost got to the point where he quit opening some of his mail because the stacks were overwhelming.
However, the University of Michigan-bound Red Devil didn't hesitate to open his mail Wednesday because there was something new waiting for him. A package with Under Armour and ESPN printed on it certainly caught Ferns' attention.
Upon opening it, Ferns learned he'd been formally invited to take part in the 2014 Under Armour All-American Football Game at Walt Disney World in Orlando during the first weekend in January.
"To open that and read the letter was great," Ferns said. "This was one of the two things that I had been really striving for and it's exciting to know this early that I am going to be in that game."
Ferns actually learned that something might be going down involving the game Tuesday, when he was checking his Twitter account.
"A reliable source had said something on there and we caught wind of it," Ferns said. "We talked to a couple of people, who checked on it and confirmed it, but I hadn't seen anything official and was just waiting for something to happen."
Ferns wasted little time in accepting the invitation. He quickly dialed ESPN Football Recruiting analyst Tom Luginbill, who had signed the letter Ferns received, to tell him that he "was in."
"I actually missed him the first time I tried to call and then he called me back," Ferns said.
The ESPN Under Armour All-American Game began in 2008 and has featured players such as A.J. Green, Julio Jones, Trent Richardson, Manti Te'o, Matt Barkley and Jadeveon Clowney just to name a few.
Ferns becomes the first Ohio Valley player to be chosen for any of the national all-star games.
"It's exciting to get to represent St. Clairsville, the Ohio Valley and the University of Michigan," Ferns said.
The linebacker recruit plans on graduating from St. Clairsville in December and enrolling for the winter term in Ann Arbor. So, Ferns, who is getting a jumpstart on his college process by taking post-secondary classes in the fall, will take part in the event in Florida in January and then come home and head north.
Ferns, who committed to Michigan last August, is one of four current Wolverines recruits who've been invited and accepted the invitation to the event. He'll join future teammates Drake Harris, Bryan Mone and Wilton Speight.
The first team All-Ohioan doesn't think that will be the final tally of future Wolverines in the game. Since he became the first to commit for the Class of 2014, Ferns has turned into one of the Wolverines' leading salesmen to other targets.
"Our quarterback commit (Speight) was the first to be chosen and then Harris got in," Ferns said. "Just from talking to guys and knowing how the recruiting process is going, I think we'll have some other guys joining us, but it's still a matter of their decisions."
Ferns is coming off a junior campaign in which he helped lead the Red Devils to a 14-1 record and a trip to the Division IV state championship game where they fell to Clarksville Clinton-Massie. He finished with more than 100 tackles and scored eight touchdowns on offense.
Earlier this year, Ferns, who is a four-star recruit by nearly every major recruiting website and ranking and is the second-ranked prospect in Ohio, was named a second team All-American for the Class of 2014 by 247sports.com. Just this month, Ferns was raked 112th in the ESPN 150 rankings.