TULSA – The idea of playing college football became a dream for Jon-Michael Terry in middle school, but Oklahoma didn’t come into the picture until high school, when Terry put together a list of schools he’d want to attend with the Sooners at the top.
For his mother, Kim, it became a little bit more of a reality when her son was asked to start on both sides of the ball on varsity as a freshman by the coaches at Victory Christian School.
It became official early Wednesday morning, just thirty minutes into National Signing Day.
“It was just an easy decision for me to make,” said Terry, who committed to Oklahoma just after junior day last February and eventually became the No. 15 inside linebacker in the country.
Terry didn’t sleep much the night before signing day and woke up around 6:30 a.m. He signed soon after he got to school but had to wait a little bit on the school’s fax machine that failed to send the letter twice, joking that he had never used one – since fax machines probably went out of use before he was born.
By the time he held a ceremony in front of a portion of the Victory Christian student body with nine members of his family surrounding him, he was far more relaxed. Kim Terry, a pediatrician, noticed that her son’s relief.
“He’s so low-key, it’s hard to know what’s going on sometimes,” Kim Terry said. “I can tell. He’s smiling more. He seems more relaxed today.”
Before even stepping campus, Oklahoma coaches are fighting over Jon-Michael Terry, who said that defensive coordinator Mike Stoops wants him to play on the outside while inside linebackers coach Tim Kish wants him inside.
The lean 230-pound Terry, who runs a 4.6 40 and can dunk a basketball with athleticism that surprised Stoops when he made a visit, could play either position for Oklahoma. But he wants to play right away.
“Everybody wants to play, right?” Terry said when asked about redshirting his first year. “You’ve just got to go see what happens.”
It seems more likely that the in-state recruit, one of only two in the Sooners’ 2016 class, will have a chance to play immediately. Terry led the state in sacks for three straight years and has been a four-year, two-way starter for Victory Christian.
He was Oklahoma’s first commit for the 2016 class, and the Sooners were his top choice because of the all-around school – not just the football program. He was never a risk of flipping and never even spoke with coaches from other teams down the stretch as he became more than just a diamond in the rough.
Terry is a man of few words. When asked how he was handling all the attention of National Signing Day, he said he thought he was handling “pretty good.”
“Am I?” he then asked with a laugh.
With the day behind him, he’s not uncertain about being ready to get to Norman.
“I definitely feel like I’ll be a great fit for the Sooners,” Terry said. “I’m just going to go and put in my work and see what happens.”