After Texas won the national title this last season, difficult became seemingly impossible. It was going to come down to teams having to wait for Texas to get whoever they wanted and they would go in to try and get the rest.
That may be true for most of the preps in the state, but for Hempstead high school's Terrance Tolliver, even if Texas offers, he's planning on giving everyone an equal look. "Well, the first thing is, I'm not committing anywhere I don't visit," Terrance said. "I don't care how good the team is, you can't go committing to a place you haven't personally seen. That would be pretty stupid."
"But the other thing is, there's a lot more to what goes into a team than the record, because you want a place to fit exactly what you want."
For Terrance, his talent at the wide receiver position should make him a coveted prospect in the Midwest, if not the entire country. Point of fact, his 6 foot, 4 ½ inches and almost 200 pounds make him ideally physically, but he's able to translate that to success on the field. Using a physical style, while still being a legit threat in the open-field, Tolliver averaged over 20 yards a catch last season, getting into the end zone 10 times.
How Tolliver gets it done, though, he'll tell you varies, because he feels he is able to adjust to any situation. "It depends on how they play me in how I approach a play," he said. "If he wants to bump me, fine, I'll just use my body, make a move on him and once I'm around him I'm gone. But they can play me soft and that's fine too, because I can kill them inside or just hit the speed and get on by them."
"I like to think that I can do anything out there and you really have to think like that. If you aren't confident you can beat anyone, that's where you have problems."
Obviously that confidence isn't unfounded as according to Tolliver LSU, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Baylor, Kansas State and Arizona have all offered in writing. And then you throw in all the mail he's getting from pretty much everyone else in the Big 12, most of the SEC and various schools from conferences around the country.
That's left Tolliver pretty confident about what he's done, but that doesn't even scratch the surface as to where he wants to be. "All-American, baby," Terrance said of one of his goals this year. "I want to play in the All-American game this year."
That's not an uncommon goal, most players in the country realizing that the U.S. Army All-American Bowl is THE single best prep all-star football game there is. And if you want to face the best preps in the country, this is without a doubt the only event to attend.
What Terrance thinks he will have to do to make that game is simply do what he's done, only better. "You want to be the best, you have to take it to the next level," he said. "Whatever you did the year before, no matter how good, you have to do it better. You have to be faster, quicker and do all the things it takes to be recognized as one of the best."
"And that's what I plan to do."
There is one criteria for Tolliver when he looks at the schools at the next level, which he will be looking at as one of the chief factors in why he chooses a team. He likes a team on the up-rise or a team that has been there, but mostly, regardless of where that team is at, he wants to know he'll have a chance to be a big part of that team right away.
"If you win, you want to know you have a chance to be a big part of that," Terrance said. "I am confident in what I do, but I know there are teams out there that have a lot of players just like me."
"I'm looking for a team that needs me, because I don't want to be just another guy on a winning program. I want to be someone that was able to make a difference and really help out a team."
As Terrance goes through the summer, he's looking at going to some camps, one of them definitely being at LSU this summer. Outside of that, and attending a combine here and there, Tolliver isn't real certain just what he's going to do. He knows he's going to check some teams out, because that's a priority. It's one thing he has to do in order to get even remotely close to a decision. "I know I am going to visit LSU and Oklahoma over the summer, because they are pretty close," Terrance said. "I don't know about Texas Tech and schools like Nebraska, because that's a longer ways away."
"I want to check them all out, but it might just come down to what is possible during the summer. I'll figure that out as I go."
Tolliver is in no hurry to do anything but investigate teams at this point. Having some familiarity with the Aggies, he's comfortable with them, but that's about it for right now. There's a lot he's still planning on checking out, but knows that some if not most of it, he can't even do until at least he's into his final season of prep ball.
No big deal to him, as he isn't in any hurry and besides, it's more time for people to catch on to what those teams mentioned above already know. Tolliver's got game, but he says that you better keep watching, because as they say, you ain't seen nothing yet.
"We've got a good team and I plan on going out with a bang," Tolliver said. "It's my final year here, so I plan on making it my best year. We have a lot of goals and I do too, so, this is the time to step up."
"And that's what I am going to do."
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