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Tamorrion Terry Starring for Seminoles

By BJ Bennett
SouthernPigskin.com
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After a historic year, more is Tamorrion Terry's comprehensive measure.

It's just not going to be me out there, it's going to be everybody, all my wide receivers, the whole group.
~Tamorrion Terry

At a place like Florida State, it takes a lot for a wide receiver to make his mark. From Anquan Boldin, Snoop Minnis and Peter Warrick to the recent championship big three of Kelvin Benjamin, Rashad Greene and Kenny Shaw, Tallahassee has long been home to some of the game's top playmakers. Generations prior, College Football Hall of Famers Fred Biletnikoff, whose name titles the award given to the premier receiver in the country, and Ron Sellers helped establish a new modern-day standard out wide. Sophomore Tamorrion Terry has positioned himself to be the next-in-line.

Even in a disappointing season for the Seminoles, Terry burst onto the national stage in 2018, introducing himself with 35 receptions for 744 yards and eight touchdowns. Notably, his yardage total broke a Florida State freshman record that had previously stood for over 40 years. Terry, earning honorable-mention All-ACC honors and being named the team's Offensive MVP, showed a truly rare big play ability in season one, becoming the first Seminole since Warrick with a pair of 70-yard touchdown catches in a year, tying the freshman record for 100 yard games and nearly equaling the mark for scores.   

Terry ranked in the top five nationally with 21.26 yards per catch, tied for fourth in the ACC with eight touchdown receptions and, improving as the season progressed, had the second most receiving yards with 381 and touchdowns, with three, of any league receiver for the month of November. His 74-yard touchdown catch with less than two minutes remaining in Florida State's comeback victory over Boston College was likely the Seminoles' recent play of the year; it was also a sign of Terry's remarkable ability.

Historical context, here, is needed. The only freshmen wide receivers with at least 35 catches to average a minimum of 20 yards per reception the last dozen years are: Florida International's T.Y. Hilton, Justyn Ross of Clemson and Terry.    

Beyond just traditional measures, Terry's production is showcased on the grand stage when it comes to advanced stats. He, Using Jim Johnson's exclusive OAYP metric, an efficiency-grading system where a reading of 1.0 is considered to mark the "superstar" threshold, recorded a final tally of 2.58. Terry, as a redshirt freshman on a unit going through a difficult transition, had the highest score of any ACC wide receiver this past year and the highest individual rating of any league player overall.

The impact Terry made on Florida State's offense was obviously significant. Of the Seminoles' five wins, he scored touchdowns in four of them. Such big plays proved especially key in victories over Samford, Louisville and, as mentioned, Boston College. Should Florida State's offense take steps forward, an anticipated development improved depth along the offensive line should undoubtedly help, Terry will likely be even more effective. That is the expectation. He has been a regular on pre-season All-ACC teams this summer, including standing out as a first-team honoree on the official media list.

Already, despite his relative inexperience, Terry has stepped into a leadership position for the Seminoles. Head coach Willie Taggart selected Terry as one of the program's two student-athlete representatives for the annual ACC Kickoff in Charlotte, North Carolina. Terry, furthermore, has been one of the standard-setters in what has been an important off-season for Florida State. Largely an unknown a year ago, Terry is one of the clear standouts for a Seminole side ready for a return to the status quo. He, exciting for the potential of his position, is helping to lead to charge.

"I bring a lot, but it's not just me, it's my team, all my wide receivers, them dogs," Terry smiled. "Y'all are going to see a lot of that this year, everybody coming out, enjoying their time, scoring touchdowns. It's just not going to be me out there, it's going to be everybody, all my wide receivers, the whole group."

Terry is option one for a wide receiver rotation, showcasing the likes of D.J. Matthews, Keith Gavin, Keyshawn Helton and others, that appears ready to take off. Add in quarterback James Blackman, running back Cam Akers and, as referenced, what should be an improved offensive line, and Florida State's offense just might be dramatically improved. Along with new coordinator Kendall Briles, Ron Dugans has returned to coach the wide receivers. He was one of the faces of the Seminoles' 1999 national championship team, part of a receiver rotation with Warrick, Boldin, Minnis and Talman Gardner, all of whom were drafted. After learning from and shining under David Kelly, Terry is continuing his development with Dugans.

After a historic year, more is Terry's comprehensive measure. Working with program greats is only accelerating that process.

"My footwork, better routes and all, just coming off the ball and high pointing the ball," Terry explained of where he is looking to improve. "My blocking, I've worked on that as well, just pushing the sleds and doing little things that help me and correct my game. We have guys like Kenny Shaw, they give us drills to get our footwork better and turn our hips. Coach Dugans, he always has drills to help us move our hips and get loose."

The same persistence that helped Terry emerge as one of college football's best receivers a year ago is now driving the entire Florida State football team forward. Though much of last season was forgettable, lessons, for the 5-7 Seminoles, were still learned. The motivation, entering year two of the Willie Taggart era, is firmly in place. There was a distinct energy to this spring and summer, with Terry helping to set the tone. This fall, in some ways, is all about getting back up.

"By working, working. No plays off, no practices off, nothing. We get extra work in every time we work. We just love this game. We are working so hard for this and so hard for these fans and Florida State," Terry shared. "Trying to get us to an ACC Championship and winning a championship. We are trying to get back to how Florida State used to be. I just want it so bad. I know everybody else wants it, the team wants it. We are itching for this."

At 6'4'', 203 pounds, Terry is the prototype on the perimeter. Clearly, he has the NFL's attention. Terry is big, fast and athletic and has a great feel for the football when a pass is in the air. Terry is a redzone and big play threat alike, potential his production very much validates. Given his finish to last season and the addition of experience to his vast skill set, Terry, still improving as a redshirt sophomore, is poised for a continued rise into one of the most dynamic playmakers in the country. There is great excitement for his future. "Scary" isn't just Terry's nickname, it's his potential as well.  

Simply put, Terry is a game-changer. He is also following in the footsteps of a number of all-time greats, tracks that lead straight to the next level. Terry has modeled some of his profile after, to cite one of his mentors, his former teammate Auden Tate, who led the ACC with ten touchdown catches in 2017. Since the day Terry arrived on campus, he has made it a point to learn from those who came before him. That approach has helped make Terry who he is today.   

"When he was at FSU, I always watched him to see what he did, what he messed up on and ask him what I was doing wrong and how I could correct my mistakes," Terry added of Tate. "I can say Snoop Minnis, he always comes back and works with the receivers and tells us what we need to work on and Kenny Shaw, he always comes back and helps out, too." 

More than just talented, Terry, thrilled to be at Florida State, an opportunity which he calls a "blessing", is hungry. The goal, as was the case for so many of his high-profile predecessors, is to be great. Such a distinction is a multi-faceted one. Terry, well before kickoff, even, is doing everything he can in preparation of that pursuit. So, too, is his team.

"We've been putting in so much work," Terry concluded. "Working hard in the weight room, on the field, off the field, in the classroom, anything. Everything pays off, so we have been working so hard to try to get Florida State to back to how Florida State is supposed to be."

A long line of distinguished playmakers have come through Tallahassee. Terry is fitting right in -- and setting an example along the way.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is SouthernPigskin.com's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: bj@espncoastal.com / Twitter: @BJBennettSports