Monday, January 14, 2013
Friday was perhaps the most eventful day ever for a Goose Creek High School athlete.
In a ceremony at the school before lunch, Gators senior football player Tramel Terry made his commitment official to the University of Georgia, ending a roller-coaster recruiting saga between the Bulldogs and Clemson Tigers.
Less than 12 hours later, he raked in the state’s most prestigious award for senior football players, claiming the Mr. Football trophy for himself and GCHS in Myrtle Beach.
“He exemplifies everything that a student-athlete should be,” Gators football coach Chuck Reedy said. “He characterizes the three elements that Goose Creek football is built on.
“He is an excellent student, carrying a 3.3 GPA. He has great character, leadership qualities, treats everyone with respect and gives of his time and effort to make a difference in our school and community. He has worked very hard to become the best football player he could be.”
The senior receiver/running back accounted for nearly 1,900 yards and 24 touchdowns this season to lead the Gators to a 13-0 record before their dismissal from the postseason for playing an ineligible player.
He finished as the only four-year starter in Reedy’s 11 years at GCHS.
Terry was chosen for the Mr. Football trophy over Byrnes receiver Akia Booker, Conway quarterback Mykal Moody, Strom Thurmond running back Darius Hammond and T.L. Hanna linebacker Ben Boulware. He’s the first Lowcountry player to earn the honor since Stratford’s Moe Thompson in 2001. The award was first handed out in 1995.
“Tramel is probably one of the best players to come out of the Lowcountry – ever,” Reedy said.
Terry’s interest in the Mr. Football trophy was secondary until the Gators’ season was abruptly ended. Then, it became one he wanted to win badly.
“After what happened with us, he said he’d really like to win it for Goose Creek High School,” Reedy said. “That’s just the way he is… He certainly was the most qualified.”
As a junior, he had nearly 1,700 total yards and 16 touchdowns. He had 10 touchdowns as a sophomore and made plenty of key plays as a freshman too, including a long touchdown run in a state semifinal game.
The decision to attend Georgia came down to the 11th hour for Terry. Though he was verbally committed to UGA, he also gave serious consideration to Clemson. He met with Georgia coach Mark Richt and Clemson recruiters in the days leading up to Friday.
“I just went with my heart,” Terry said.
He will enroll at UGA in January after taking part in the Under Armour All-America game in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Jan. 4.
“It’s amazing,” Terry said. “I’m blessed. I thank God for the opportunity.
Fresh in his mind is how close Georgia came to playing for the national championship this season. The Bulldogs came within five yards of that goal before falling to Alabama 32-28 in the Southeastern Conference title game.
It reminded him of his final play as a sophomore for the Gators. He made a catch inside the 10-yard line but was tackled short of the goal line as the horn sounded in a 41-34 loss to Northwestern in the state semifinal.
A year later, the Gators celebrated their most glorious moment, winning the state championship against Greenwood.
“The same thing can happen at Georgia,” Terry said. “We can win a national championship next year and I believe we will.”
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