Ussery Wants Something To Fall Back On

Terdema Ussery's everyday life is somewhat of a dream for most kids.

The hardworking Scout.com top-100 player is the son of and shares the same name as the Dallas Mavericks team president. Franchise owner Mark Cuban lives down the street, and star forward Josh Howard has attended a few of his football games at St. Mark's School of Texas.

Living so close to the NBA lifestyle has also taught Terdema Ussery a valuable lesson.

"I get to see how hard it is to get to the pros, so for me, graduating (from college) is really important," Ussery explained.

Ussery, who can only make it to Mavs games on the weekend because of his heavy academic workload, certainly has the opportunity to earn a degree from some great universities. Stanford and Louisville have already offered the 6-foot-4 ½, 192-pound four-star receiver a scholarship. Notre Dame, Florida, Oregon, Arkansas, Michigan and Texas are a few of the many showing interest.

In helping lead St. Mark's to a league title this past fall, Ussery had 29 receptions for 431 yards and five touchdowns. He played in eight games, missing three with an ankle injury.

"He's a hard worker," head coach Bart Epperson told Inside The Ville last week. "He ran a 4.47 a month ago. He just attended the FBU Football University, it was an invite only for the Top-100 players in the region. He's got great speed and explosion and he can jump out of the gym. He's a decathlete and he made the Junior Olympic Team. We ended up winning the state championship in our league and he was a big contributor with his catches. He's an unbelievable kid."

Notre Dame has really noticed.

"Coach (Rob) Ianello, the receivers coach has come to my school a few times, and I get mail from them and stuff," Ussery said. He has a 3.0 GPA. "We talk about the school, their general direction and their interest level. He said that they like my size and they like my speed.

"They have great tradition and their graduation rate is really high, and it's a great football school."

Ussery will see Notre Dame for the first time when he arrives in South Bend this Saturday, a day before the Irish's Feb. 24th junior day. He is making the trip with his father, a former Princeton running back who played with the Philadelphia Eagles for a year before heading to Law School.

"I've seen the school on TV before and stuff," Ussery said. "It will just be cool to see the campus."

Ussery has already taken a trip to Florida, and will do so again in March. He is also taking unofficial visits to Stanford and Oregon in April.

Recently ranked as the state's 18th best prospect by Scout.com, Ussery hasn't given much thought to when he wants to make a college decision.

"I'm looking for a good football team, a strong team, and academics, graduation and stuff," Ussery explained. "I'm trying to go where they have a high graduation rate, where they don't screw around and I can stay focused.

"I think I fit well in any offense. I'm not selfish. I'm willing to work within. I just want to play football."

And have something to fall back on.


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