No player wants to end his high school career being taken off the field due to injury, but that’s exactly what happened to Mankato West’s C.J. Terry in the state semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium in November. Terry suffered an…
No player wants to end his high school career being taken off the field due to injury, but that’s exactly what happened to Mankato West’s C.J. Terry in the state semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium in November.
Terry suffered an arm injury late in the first half of the Scarlets’ loss to Spring Lake Park. The official diagnosis was a dislocated elbow, which the 185-pounder began rehabbing almost immediately. He said he’s about two weeks away from being 100 percent and back in the weight room to prepare for his college football career.
“I felt like I let my team down,” said Terry via email about the injury. “Many [people] would say ‘you were injured, so you couldn't do much about it’. That is true, but at the same time I felt like I abandoned my team that night.”
It’s that type of team-first attitude that former Scarlets coach Mark Esch said embodies Terry. Esch called him “awesome” away from football and said he’s always smiling and willing to help others, which he said should make him an even more attractive recruit to college programs.
“He's always going to do the right thing, and he is going to finish what he starts,” Esch said via email.
Terry was the statistical and emotional leader for the Scarlets this season, playing almost every snap of every competitive game until his injury.
He rushed for 1,584 yards and 21 touchdowns to pace a unit that gained more than 250 yards rushing and 36 points per game. Defensively, Terry recorded 63 tackles and two sacks, with three fumble recoveries and three interceptions from his outside linebacker position.
“He leads by example, plays hard every play and never quits,” Esch said via email, “which is contagious to the rest of the team.”
Terry was named Associated Press First Team All-State and also earned Big Southeast All-District honors after his senior season. He said his patience carrying the ball was his biggest improvement from the beginning of his career. He said it allowed him to become a more complete running back, especially between the tackles.
Terry also competes in track in the spring, but he said it’s mostly to keep him in shape for football. Off the field, he said he likes to assist others in the classroom and help underclassmen mature at West.
As far as his football future is concerned, he said his main priority is playing at the highest level possible for a winning program. Less than a month before National Signing Day, that appears to be Division II, but Terry said he was open to playing at Division III if the Division II programs weren’t somewhere he felt “comfortable.”
Minnesota State-Moorhead is Terry’s only scholarship offer to date. He said he will be taking visits to multiple other Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference schools, some of which Terry said would extend an offer once he’s on-campus.
“I'm looking for coaches that care about me as a player and person, not to just use me to win,” Terry said.