February 29, 2012

Erie QB on MSU: 'I just had a feeling for it'

Erie (Pa.) Cathedral Prep quarterback Damion Terry was making his usual rounds, through the hallway at school on Tuesday when he happened by the office of his football coach, and then came some unexpected, life-changing news.

"My coach was on the phone with Mark Staten when I was walking by his office," Terry said. "And my coach said, 'Here, Coach Staten wants to tell you some good news."

Staten, Michigan State's offensive line coach, is Terry's primary recruiter for the Spartans.

"So I got on the phone with him and they told me that they offered me a scholarship," Terry said. "And then he gave the phone to Coach Dantonio, and I talked to him a little bit and he let me know also."

Michigan State is the first major conference school to offer Terry a scholarship. More are likely to come.

"It feels real good," Terry said. "It feels like there is a large weight off my back. Hopefully more come in, but I'm real interested in Michigan State. I was there Saturday for junior day and I really liked it a lot.

"The first person I called was my mom. She was really excited. She started crying."

With dual threat capabilities while operating out of the shot gun for a spread offense, Terry led Erie Cathedral to the second round of the state playoffs as a junior. He threw for 1,800 yards with 19 passing TDs, 8 rushing TDs and 6 INTs.

He missed the last two games of the regular season with an injury, but came back to lead Erie Cathedral Prep to a 49-7 victory over Meadville in the first round of the playoffs. Terry (6-4, 200) accounted four six TDs in that game, including four on the ground. He rushed for 114 yards. Through the air, he was 8-of-13 for 167 yards with two TDs.

Terry already holds several Cathedral Prep career passing records, with 3,647 yards passing (223 of 418). With 37 TD passes he is just two shy of the school record in that category.

He held an offer from Mercyhurst last week before MSU led what could be a parade of offers from some big boys.

"Schools that are showing interest include West Virginia, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Florida, Ohio State, Penn State, Boston College, Toledo, Rutgers, Iowa, Georgia Tech, a lot of schools," he said.

In addition to MSU, which schools are showing the most interest?

"Probably West Virginia and then Ohio State and Penn State and Florida," he said. "For West Virginia, I speak to the quarterbacks coach, Coach Spavital (Jake Spavital), and they like me because I'm a dual-threat quarterback and that's what they run at West Virginia. They are a dual-threat school. They put the ball in the quarterback's hands and they run with it and throw a lot. They like my size and ability to run, so hopefully I get offered from them too soon, because I've been in contact with them for a while now.

"For Ohio State, I speak to coach Todd Herman. They like the same thing. They like my arm strength and everything I have to offer on tape. I was supposed to make it there for junior day, but we got hit hard by snow here that day and I decided to just go there for a spring practice."

If and when any of the above schools decide to offer, they could be playing catch-up to Michigan State.

"I just had the feeling for it when I stepped onto campus at Michigan State," Terry said. "The overall atmosphere and the coaches, I like them a lot. I like the fanbase, the education and the campus overall was impressive."

The offer from Michigan State came as somewhat of a surprise.

"A little bit," Terry said. "He told me they were going to be calling me soon. When I was at Junior Day, Coach Dantonio wasn't there, but they told me they liked me a lot and they wanted me to be there and that they would call me during the week.

"But it still shocked me and left me in awe because that's my first one and I was just lost for words, very excited.

"They said they like my overall talent, that I can run with the ball and my arm strength. They talked to me about working with Coach Warner and that he will teach me all the good stuff I need to be a better quarterback. I'm willing to learn."

Terry was able to spend some extra time with Warner.

"He came up to me at lunch and we were talking and it went well," Terry said. "We had a player-position meeting. He showed us what their quarterbacks do at practice, and what he wants in a quarterback. I like him a lot."

Terry has attended junior days at Penn State and West Virginia.

Terry doesn't have any other junior days or unofficial visits planned at this time.

"None right now but I should be planning some soon and planning a couple of spring practices to attend.

"Right now I want to take it slow and see what my offers are. But I kind of want to make a decision in the summer or maybe during my senior year, but I'm not too sure. I might even wait until closer to signing day. I'm not 100 percent sure what i want to do right now."

Meanwhile, he is working with his new receivers indoors in preparation for his senior year.

"We lost both of our receivers so I have been throwing with our new receivers on Tuesdays and Wednesdays to get better chemistry," he said.

"My sophomore year, I was more quiet because I was just a sophomore. And then my junior year, it sunk in that this is my team, I'm the quarterback and I have to put more of a leadership role. I think I progressed more as a leader. But I think I played real well."

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