HS Coach Speaks on Miami Commitment

Regrettably for Miami Monsignor Pace High School football Coach Joe Zaccheo and University of Miami commit Tervaris Johnson, their season (6-3 overall) did not transpire like it had in 2003 when Johnson helped the Spartans win the Class 3A state championship. However, Johnson's coach was still pleased with what he got from Tervaris on the field.

"Tervaris had a good season, he was very consistent for us throughout his career," Zaccheo said.

Coach Zaccheo believes Johnson made a good choice by staying close to home and playing for the Hurricanes.

"Going to school close to home will make the transition to the next level that much easier for him and I do not think you can find a better staff. Larry Coker and Randy Shannon are not only good coaches, but good people as well," Zaccheo said.

Tervaris Johnson is a rare athlete, because of his size (6-3, 215), and speed (4.4 second 40 yard dash), many people have already compared him to Sean Taylor, but Coach Zaccheo is not about to compare Johnson to the Hurricane great, at least not beyond his physical stature and speed.

"Body type he definitely compares to Taylor, but playing style I am not sure about, it is tough to say who he reminds me of," Zaccheo said.

While many individuals have projected Johnson to be playing in the defensive backfield for the Canes, Zaccheo is not so sure about that.

"I think they are taking him as a defensive back but he could easily grow into a linebacker for them, you never know, it would not surprise me to see him move to linebacker, and even has the speed to play corner," Zaccheo said.

There has also been speculation about Tervaris possibly seeing some time at wide receiver for the Hurricanes, but Zaccheo would be surprised to see Johnson on the offensive side of the ball.

"Tervaris is much better suited on the defensive side of the ball, but he could prove me wrong, right now he does not have as many skills on offense as he does on defense," Zaccheo said.

Despite already having the speed and stature a big time player must have, Tervaris still has some work to do before he puts on a Canes jersey.

"I think he needs, like any young man making the jump to college athletics, to work on his reading ability if he is going to be playing defensive back," Zaccheo said. "He was fine in high school but everything will be faster. He is a typical high school recruit, he just needs to continue to work on getting stronger, work on his speed which he has always done during the off season by going to speed camp and off season conditioning programs."

This winter will not be any different.

"Tervaris has already asked me if he could take part in our off season conditioning program beginning January 3. It is good for the younger guys, freshman and sophomores to see a guy who has made it, but still continues to work to improve himself," Zaccheo said.

Coach Zaccheo does not think Canes fans will be disappointed by Tervaris' actions on or off the field.

"He is a person of excellent character, never a headache, respectful, does the right things and avoids trouble spots. He isn't a rah-rah guy, he is a quiet leader, and he prefers to lead by example," Zaccheo said.

Whether Tervaris is playing corner, safety, linebacker or moonlighting on offense Canes fans can be assured of one thing.

"Tervaris will work hard and give his best like he did throughout his career for us," Coach Joe Zaccheo said.

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