New Spartan QB Damion Terry Addresses the Hype Surrounding Him & Arriving on Campus in Two Days!
Q: The great Damion Terry. Damion, how are you brother?
A: I’m good. How’re you doing?
Q: How excited are you to get here and hang out? You’re gonna keep Jon Reschke as your bodyguard the entire time, aren’t ya?
A: Oh yeah, of course. Yeah, I’m really excited to get up there.
Q: Mark Dantonio thinks that when you’re asked to represent your state at an All Star game it’s just like at the Olympics where it’s an honor that’s bigger than the game and you have to do it. Do you like that he’s like that about it?
A: Oh yeah. I’m glad. That’s why I think he’s just one of the best coaches. He’s one of the most understanding coaches because he actually encourages his players to play in games like that. Him and the rest of that staff are encouraging me to play other sports in high school if I really wanted to. They said don’t be scared to get hurt, if that’s the reason you’re not playing. Don’t let that be the reason because you signed a scholarship for a reason and we’re all in it too. So say if I did get hurt, the scholarship is still there. I don’t know, it’s just a real good coaching staff. And Coach D, I like the approach he takes.
Q: For as long as I’ve known you, you’ve been very humble.
A: Yeah, yeah.
Q: The other day I’m doing an interview in Florida and the guy asks me if you’re gonna be the best quarterback in MSU history. I know you’re confident and I know you’re very talented; this staff believes in you. Do you want to sometimes tell people to relax a little bit? I told the guy that you hadn’t even stepped on campus with three great QB’s ahead of you. Are you a little concerned with all the hype?
A: Yeah, yeah. In a way. Like you said, I’ve seen some ridiculous stuff too. I don’t know, it’s just fans being fans and I’m all supportive of it. I like it, but yeah I know what you’re saying. Let me get on campus first and let me actually practice and get used to the speed of the game before you start jumping and making these high expectations before someone even gets on campus.
Q: I’m not questioning your talent, I’m just saying it’s an unfair expectation. Do you understand what I’m saying?
A: Right, yeah, I get what you’re saying. What if I… Yeah, yeah. I know what you mean. I agree. There are three really talented players already on the depth chart and ahead of me.
Q: There is an adjustment period sometimes. You gotta give a kid room to be a kid. Fair?
A: Right. Yeah, exactly. That’s fair. That’s a good statement and point too, because there’s a lot of great players that don’t do anything or contribute until their junior year and become one of their greatest players ever. It just takes time to adjust to the game.
Q: You arrive the end of the week, correct?
A: June 27th actually.
Q: How fired up are you?
A: Yeah, I’m real excited. I can’t even think about it right now. I’m just looking forward to coming. It’s gonna be a good time.
Q: Now that you’ve signed do you have the playbook? Or is that something you can’t get until you get on campus?
A: Not the whole thing, just bits of it here and there. Coach Salem came into school when we were still in school and reviewed it…me, him and Delton. So yeah, just like a little spring version of it. Not like the full playbook or the real deal. Just a little portion of it, just to show me the basics of the offense and some bread-and-butter plays and stuff like that.
Q: You’re a very talented runner. What is the biggest thing you’re looking for to know when to hand off and when to run?
A: Just the D end, whatever the D end does. The good thing about the read option is you can always see what the D end is gonna do or what he’s been doing if you’re running a play over and over. So you kinda know what he’s gonna do the next time it’s called. If I keep getting the ball and he’s coming at me, not even paying attention to the running back and then one play you chase the running back against the pool. Just the read option… I just think it’s a great play because it always leaves the defense second guessing themselves and puts them in a hard time.
Q: Defensive ends are now 6’6″-6’8″, 300 lbs. and can run a 4.5, 4.6. How does that change with the read option or does it mean you have to maybe make decisions quicker?
A: Yeah, just make decisions quicker basically. Just the speed of the game. Everyone’s fast. A defensive end could maybe look like he’s about to go tackle the running back but at the same time when you pool it he’s running down, chasing you, just on your back. So you just gotta get used to the speed of the game and make smarter reads and adjustments to it.
Q: You’re always a guy that stays in shape. When you got what Ken Mannie wants you to work on, was it difficult for you at all?
A: Not really, I’m always working out. I don’t feel like there’s really that much of an off-season in football because it’s year-long, just getting your body right. I know I was talking to John the other day…he said his first day up there they had to do twelve 110’s and then six 300’s. They had to make time so… Ooh yeah, gotta get ready for those and make sure I stay in shape.
Q: I don’t know if you knew this or not but they both made it.
A: Yeah, yeah. They told me they made it somehow.
Q: For you in your shape, is that even gonna be difficult for you?
A: Yeah, it’s gonna be difficult. Just running all like that and stuff. But I think I’ll be able to do it, hopefully.
Q: When you turned on Big 10 Network and saw that Michigan State spring game in all that snow, did you not think that was pretty cool? Wouldn’t you like to play a game in Spartan Stadium with snow and ice?
A: Oh yeah, I’d love to. That’s just like a dream for me. I can’t even put into words the feeling that would be. I just can’t wait to suit up for the first game on the 31st. It’s gonna be a fun time. I’m really looking forward to it.
Q: Is your family going to be able to come to very many games?
A: Yeah, my mom is probably my biggest fan. So she’s gonna try to make it to every single game, even though it’s 5 1/2 hours away.
Q: I bet she’s looking forward when they come to Happy Valley, huh?
A: Right, yeah. I’m looking forward to that too, in 2014.
Q : What will it mean to you to go in as a junior or senior, probably leading the Spartan program in a game at Happy Valley. What will that be like for Damion Terry?
A: That would be one of the best games. Besides the Rose Bowl and the National Championship, playing against Penn State… It’s my home state. I know a lot of people would be there from my state that I know. Just playing your home state…I know that’s how the Michigan kids feel that go to State when they play Michigan. It’s just that extra fire every kid gets playing against their home state rival. So I can’t even wait. I can’t even imagine what it’s gonna be like.
Q: I know you understand the importance of this Michigan State/Michigan rivalry. But as you came on recruiting visits and spent time with players and coaches, what was the moment where you got it and understood, Wow! Wow! This is big!
A: Just from talking to other recruits and them explaining their hate for the team. Yeah, I really didn’t understand it either. I really didn’t start understanding it actually until Michigan fans started tweeting me and stuff like that, just saying stuff. I just kinda laughed at it. Yeah, that’s when it started hitting me. Wow, this rivalry is really actually something that’s real. But I’m looking forward to playing Michigan this year at Spartan Stadium. It’s gonna be fun…good game.
Q: I’m gonna read you a quote from our very first interview, okay?
Q: I said, “Damion, does it seem like it’s gonna be forever till you get on campus?” Your answer, “Yes sir, it really does. I don’t think it’s ever gonna get here. It’s so far away.” Now that it’s about to happen, are you shocked at how fast the time went?
A: Yeah, I never would have thought it would come this fast. I’m really looking forward to it. I know it’s gonna be the best four years of my life. But yeah, this recruiting process and just the whole getting to Michigan State has flown by. This school year too, from winning the State Championship and then committing to Michigan State. Everything’s been flying by. So I’m looking forward to June 27th. It’s almost there.
Q: Damion, you are a terrific young man and a very talented quarterback. I think you’re gonna be great. No matter what your career entails, we’re always gonna be rooting for you. Michigan State is blessed to have young men like you, regardless of what happens.
A: Right, thank you. That means a lot. I try to be a better person too before football player. But thank you, that means a lot.
Q: We’ll see you on the 27th. God bless you and hug your mom, okay Damion?
A: Alright. Thank you.