Two-Sport Star Makes Early Choice

West Virginia's second verbal commitment in the football class of 2007 is an explosive player that is "a threat any time he gets the ball", according to his high school coach, Ben Wright.

Wright knew he had a special player in Terence Kerns when he finished fourth in the Maryland state 100-meter track championships as a sophomore, and since then the 6-1, 215- pound speedster has done nothing to disabuse him of that notion. Playing in a wing-T offense that split ball-carrying duties among a number of players, Kerns still managed to rack up more than 3000 all-purpose yards last year. The multi-talented Kerns played mostly as a running back, but he also caught passes and ran back both kicks and punts for Thomas Johnson High School – a performance that naturally grabbed the attention of recruiters from all over the region.

"Last year, we also had some seniors in the backfield that had earned the right to get the ball, so we actually might have underused Terence a little bit," said Wright. "This year, we might run some more I formation or some of the spread stuff that West Virginia does, so I anticipate him getting the ball a lot more this year."

With numbers such as those he put up last year in somewhat restricted duty, the sky might be the limit for Kerns, who is one of the top prospects in Maryland going into his senior year. He will again be primarily a running back, although Wright says his hands are "good enough to make him a receiver". He will also run back kicks and punts again, and could also play some safety on defense. However, he is ticketed to be a running back first at West Virginia.

With Thomas Johnson graduating 30 players a year ago, the team will also be looking for new leadership, and Wright hopes he fills that role. While some players lead by example, while others motivate through words, Wright sees a good balance of the two traits in his rising senior star.

"The players vote on the captains, and I hope he will earn one of those spots," he said. "He's a hard worked in the weight room and on the track, and I think the kids respect that."


Kerns was also receiving interest from a number of Division 1 powers, including Maryland, Pittsburgh, Penn State, Syracuse, Virginia and Virginia Tech. He participated in the U.S. Army All-American combine in January.

Kerns remains a standout member of his school's track team. He runs the 100- and 200-meter dashes, as well as the sprint relays.

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