Ferrell has 68 tackles and two interceptions this season. He also has one catch for 31 yards and a touchdown.
'He's a gamer'
"He's a gamer. He's going to make plays for you, he's a very confident young man and he gives you great effort on every play," Boyle coach Larry French said. "He's just getting better. The good thing is, he's just a junior and he's coming back and he's going to be one of our leaders next season."
Hester has been impressed they way Ferrell has performed.
"He split time with Chris Cook last year, and then stepped right in this year. Bryan's really done a good job," Hester said. "He's gotten better each week. He's become fundamentally sound and he does his reads well, and he's worked on attacking the line of scrimmage."
He's come up especially big in Boyle's last two playoff games.
In the win over Lexington Catholic, Ferrell blocked an extra point and had four tackles, and his interception late in the game helped seal the victory.
Last week against Bell County, he had six tackles, knocked down a potential touchdown pass at the goal line and saw more time on offense at tight end that he had all season.
"I played it a lot more than I had before," Ferrell said. "Coach just told me, 'Ferrell, get in there and block 67 (Bell' defensive lineman Billy Lawson).' And I did it."
Ferrell said he didn't worry when called on for his added assignments. He just blocked like he was told and helped Boyle rush for 269 yards against the Bell defense.
'I just do it.'
"I just focus real hard and tell myself I can do it, and I just do it," he said.
His coaches say that sums up how Ferrell approaches any task he's given.
"Bryan works at tight end a lot in practice. And we've had him in games at times," French said. "He's just a lot more physical than Stephen (Talbott) is and he came on in there and blocked pretty good for us."
"He's played outside linebacker for us. And sometimes he steps up and plays a little defensive end. He could be back there as a running back if we needed him to. He's also played safety for us in our prevent defense. He has an important role in our defense."
"The last few weeks, he's just really stepped his game up making big plays and just running to the football," Hester said. "I told Ferrell, 'You've got to be a leader playing linebacker,' and he's stepped up to that challenge.
"You've got to be flying to the football and he does a good job of that and he responds and I'm really proud of him."
Tickets for the Class AAAA state championship game in Bowling Green are on sale at Boyle County High School until Thursday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $8 at the high school and will be $10 at the gate.
Boyle will take on Lone Oak at noon Friday.