Whenever Tramel Terry makes his debut for the Georgia football team, the Bulldogs have a specific role in mind for the player named South Carolina’s Mr. Football.
“They’re looking for me to be like a Percy Harvin type of guy,” Terry said of the former Florida wide receiver who had more than 1,900 receiving yards and more than 1,800 rushing yards in college. “They don’t have a guy like me to where I can run the ball and I’m a wide receiver at the same time. Sometimes they’ve got to go to the defensive side and bring Brandon Boykin or Branden Smith over to the offensive field. Now that they have me, they don’t have to do all that. We’ll see, once I get healthy.”
Terry underwent surgery for a torn ACL in his left knee on Jan. 4 in Athens and started classes three days later.
He’s one of 13 football recruits who enrolled early at Georgia this month.
“It actually worked out better for me,” Terry said.
He said it’s beneficial to rehab in Athens under the guidance of Georgia’s medical staff. Terry suffered the injury on Dec. 15 returning a kickoff in the Shrine Bowl all-star game in Spartanburg, S.C.
“I should be back in about five or six months,” he said in an interview prior to the surgery before he arrived in Athens. “If I need to redshirt, I will, but that’s not the plan. I’m planning on coming back and coming back stronger.”
Georgia coach Mark Richt said the coaching staff just wants the 5-foot-11, 193-pound Terry to be healthy before he competes for playing time. But Richt isn’t ruling him out of being able to contribute this fall.
“Tramel is a very multi-talented guy,” Richt said. “He’s got running skills and wide receiver skills. Some of the best wide receivers I’ve ever been around have been running backs in their careers. They’re a little bit tougher than most receivers and they’ve got some great running skills after the catch. He’s going to be in Coach (Tony) Ball’s room as a wide receiver, so that’s where we’ve got him pegged right now.”
Terry played wide receiver, running back and returned kicks at Goose Creek High School. He accounted for 2,245 receiving yards, 1,560 rushing yards and 1,318 return yards during his career, according to the Rock Hill (S.C.) Herald.
Terry sustained the injury on a wet field, and there was no contact involved.
He said he could tell during warm-ups for the Shrine Bowl that his “cleats weren’t catching the grass.” He said he wanted to change his cleats, but didn’t have a replacement pair ready.
“As soon as I got the ball, I tried to juke and my knee just gave out,” Terry said. “I kind of slipped. That was it.”
He said Georgia tight ends coach John Lilly, who recruited Terry, visited him at the team hotel at the Shrine Bowl after his injury.
“They were with me 100 percent and were ready for me to get back on the field,” Terry said.
Terry texted safety Tray Matthews, from Newnan, before they enrolled this month, telling him he would need to take care of him.
Matthews is rooming with Terry, quarterback Brice Ramsey and athlete J.J Green, both from Camden County.
Matthews got word of Terry’s injury soon after it happened.
“Man, that hurt,” Matthews said. “When it happened, his mom called us first and we were talking to her.”
Terry grew up “a big A.J. Green fan,” and it made him an even bigger Georgia fan.
Green, the former Georgia receiver who is now an NFL Pro Bowler, starred at Summerville, about 12 miles away from where Terry played high school ball.
“We tweet a couple of times here and there,” Terry said. “I haven’t met him like one-on-one yet, but I’m sure I will at Georgia. I’m trying to be the next big player from South Carolina to go to Georgia.”
Note: Georgia is tentatively scheduled to start spring practices on Saturday, March 2. The 15 practices will conclude with the annual G-Day game at Sanford Stadium on April 6.