Nothing Typical

If you listened to the CD players of most student athletes on a game day you'd probably expect to rock out to Metallica, bark with DMX, or get "Numb" on Linkin Park, but if you looked in senior Adam Terry's compact disc player you'd see something a little different.

"I listen to everything; some country, some heavy metal," Terry said. "I'll listen to Phil Collins sometimes before I play a game."

Wait a second "Easy Lover." A lineman listens to the mellow sounds of Phil Collins? And he does this minutes before hitting the trenches with a bunch of guys whose idea of fast food is a stop at Home Depot?

"I'm not a rah-rah guy. I'm more of a robot because I'm a technician. I see the game as kind of a chess match with a little ballet in it."

Terry has never been what you would call typical. His father, Mike, is 6-foot-1 and his mother, Cindy, is 5-foot-10. Yet, their son sprouted all the way up to 6-foot-8 and tips the scales at over 320-pounds.

"I blame it on the pcb's (dangerous chemicals) in the Hudson River."

Whatever it was, it helped Terry rise above the competition. Not far from the Hudson, Terry played high school football in his hometown of Queensbury, NY (near Albany). There, he managed to block more than just the sun. The tackle earned all-state honors as a junior and was ranked the ninth best lineman in the east by Prepstar recruiting service.

Terry's interests extended far beyond the football field. He has always had a passion for music and enjoys singing. This gentle giant was in several musicals during his four years and held a spot on the All-State choir.

Much like his monstrous frame, Terry's participation in different activities made him stand out during high school.

"I wasn't that stereotypical jock. Actually I was kind of the odd man out because I was exposed to a lot of different things. It's kind of hard when you're with these stereotypical athletes and then you have a friend that sings."

Terry didn't let stereotypes, movies, or other people's expectations of how a football player should act discourage him from being who he was. Fitting in wasn't the top priority in the Terry household.

"My mom's motto is you get out of it what you put into it. So I was in everything and had the privilege of being around a lot of different people.

Terry's skills on the field earned him another privilege; a free college education. When decision time came, Terry's coach and former Central Square head man John Irion pointed Queensbury's only Division One football recruit ever, towards the Orange.

"(Coach Irion) is a Central New York guy, he knew (Syracuse) better than a lot of people who live here. He knew the coaches and loved the program. Then I came out for an unofficial visit and fell in love with the place."

Syracuse football seemed to fall in love with Terry, too. After redshirting, the tackle played in four games during his first year of eligibility. As a sophomore, he earned a spot at starting left tackle. He helped plow the road for tailback Walter Reyes to rush for a school record 17 touchdowns.

During his junior year, Terry earned second team All Big-East honors. He anchored a line that gave Reyes the space to become Syracuse's all-time leader in rushing touchdowns with 38.

With all those scores coming off his back, Terry's most memorable game, like a lot of things about the senior, might surprise you.

"Even though we lost against Virginia Tech last year (51-7), I played well against the highly regarded (defensive end) Nathanial Adibi, the year before that he kind of handled me (a 48-45 triple overtime Syracuse win)."

"I've progressed each year and this year is the final progression in my college career," he continued.

It's a progression that probably will take him to the next level.

At worst, Terry will get a shot in the NFL simply for his prototypical size as an offensive lineman. He moves well for his frame and has extensive game experience after starting for what will be three years.

"He's got great feet," his former coach Irion said, "I think, barring injury, he goes in one of the top two rounds (in the NFL Draft)."

Terry isn't placing all his chips on professional football though. Academics remain a high priority in his life. He was named to the Athletic Director's honor roll in 2003 and will graduate this May with a degree in history. He plans on getting his Masters in teaching and says he will pursue that degree whether he plays professional football or not.

If the NFL doesn't work out for Terry, the front of a classroom is probably where you'll find him. His older brother Andrew, 24, is already a teacher at Terry's old high school. Terry shares his sibling's passion, though he still wants to be involved in athletics.

"I'd really like to be a coach," he said. "I used to throw shot and discus (in high school). The most for me wasn't going to nationals; it was helping that kid who could throw fifty feet in the disc, taking that kid and getting him to seventy-five. I enjoy that more than actually doing it myself."

Though Terry stands at 6-foot-8, Irion says the most impressive thing about him isn't his height, it's his character.

"Adam is someone who believes people can achieve, I would be friends (with him) in life whether or not he had anything to do with football."

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