Next Friday, ESPN 150 athlete Tramel Terry (Goose Creek, S.C./Goose Creek) will celebrate his decision to enroll early at the University of Georgia. Although Terry was also considering Clemson after taking an official visit there in October, he did not intend on it being publicized as an announcement ceremony.
“Friday is a signing day celebration, it was never a press conference,” Terry said. “I am just excited to be a Georgia Bulldog. I am not sure why anyone ever put it out there like that. My guidance counselor just wanted us to have something together for all of us going to college because I am enrolling early.”
Terry originally committed to Georgia last year at Dawg Night, only to reopen his recruitment a few months later. He would recommit to Georgia in March. During the past few weeks, the Tigers made a push for his services. Out of respect for Georgia, Terry chose to keep his thoughts to himself.
“I chose after the Clemson official to not do interviews because I did not want to be a distraction, to the Georgia coaches or to my team in the playoffs,” Terry said. “I was trying to do the smart thing and look at Clemson because of how I could fit in. If I would have gone there I probably could have started right away. I would have been a fool not to check them out.”
The time spent at Clemson gave the 5-foot-11, 192-pound athlete a lot to think about.
“When I took my official there I liked it,” Terry said. “I looked at the depth chart and I pictured myself in that offense. The next few weeks were really tough. It was to the point where I could go do eeny, meeny, miny, moe and pick either school. My relationship with Coach [Tony] Elliott at Clemson was the best out of any coach I knew. He was closer to a father figure and I hope he gets a head coaching job because he deserves it.”
Two weeks ago, Terry was in Athens, where the Bulldogs’ staff showed him how they planned to use him in college.
“Georgia wants me in the same way as Clemson ... as a Percy Harvin type player,” Terry said. “That is the type of dynamic that I bring as a running back and a wide receiver.
"That is what both programs don’t have; Clemson has Sammy Watkins and UGA has Todd Gurley. They do not have someone making plays in the middle like Harvin did at Florida. Georgia used to bring in Brandon Boykin or Branden Smith for jet sweeps, but they have not had anyone like that this year.”
Heading into the weekend, Terry was still somewhat torn between the two programs. A visit changed that.
“Coach [John] Lilly came to see me and that was a big deal,” Terry said. “They had a big game the next day and still showed that I was a big priority. I knew then where I wanted to go. I just felt comfortable with Georgia and felt that I was just trying to talk myself into going to Clemson, so I just went with my heart.”
Terry called Clemson on Sunday and told them there was no need to come for their in-home next week. Then he called Mark Richt.
“I called Mark Richt and told him I was solid to Georgia,” Terry said. “He was happy for me and he respected how I handled the process. I am happy to be committed to Georgia. I am ready to leave for Athens, attend Georgia and be successful.”
Although he admits it was painful seeing the Bulldogs fall to Alabama 32-28 on Saturday, Terry thinks the impact of seeing his future team come so close to the national championship will help in the future.
“Watching the SEC championship and seeing Georgia lose hurt, but it also showed me that Georgia is ready to take that next step as a program,” Terry said. “Now we will just work even harder and with the group we have coming in, we will get there next year.”