National Signing Day 2011: Osbourn QB/DB/KR Dominique Terrell signs with Virginia
Osbourn All-Met Dominique Terrell is known for his crafty moves, and he pulled another fast one late Wednesday morning when he made his college announcement after months of speculation.
There were two caps on the table in front of him at Old Towne Sports Pub in Manassas, one from Miami and one from West Virginia. There was no cap from Virginia, his other finalist among his 30 to 40 scholarship offers.
But when it came time to announce his college choice, Terrell feigned putting on each of the other two caps and pulled out a Virginia cap from underneath the table, nestling it on his head with a grin to a chorus of applause and laughs in a restaurant dining room.
With one smooth motion, Terrell went from cap to Cav.
"It's close to home and I felt Coach [Mike] London's vibe," said Terrell, who informed London of his decision Monday and faxed his paperwork to Virginia on Wednesday before attending the press conference. "I think he's going to put U.Va. on the map and turn the program around."
Terrell, a quarterback at Osbourn who transferred from Osbourn Park after his junior season, said he will play slot receiver and return kicks for the Cavaliers. There also has been talk of using him in a Wildcat formation.
Terrell's three finalists were in different stages in regard to their coaching staffs. London just completed his first season in Charlottesville. Al Golden, a former Virginia defensive coordinator and Temple head coach, was named Miami's head coach in December. And late last year WVU announced that after the 2011 season Coach Bill Stewart would yield his head coaching position to recently hired offensive coordinator Dana Holgorsen.
That pending move, and the departure of WVU recruiting coordinator Chris Beatty, scared Terrell off from signing with the Mountaineers and following in the footsteps of Osbourn graduate Brandon Hogan, an all-Big East cornerback the past two years.
WVU continued its recruiting push, visiting the Terrells last week, and Beatty, now at Vanderbilt, tried to recruit Terrell to Nashville.
"West Virginia was my top pick, and then Coach Beatty left, so then I wasn't feeling it a lot," said Terrell, who considered Miami too far from home. "I knew U.Va. had a stable coaching staff, so that's why I chose there."
Flanked by Osbourn assistant Mike Johnson, parents Zach and Tina, Osbourn Coach Steve Schultze and family friend John Carter, Terrell made his announcement in the packed dining room, with dark blue and silver balloons (Osbourn colors) decorating the table and an Osbourn helmet behind the two decoy caps.
Terrell had taken exams in weight training and government that morning. He is awaiting his latest SAT scores; he is 30 points shy of qualifying academically, Schultze said.
Schultze, a 1980 Osbourn graduate and long-time Manassas resident, thinks that Terrell is the first Osbourn football player to earn a scholarship to Virginia. For the Eagles (12-1) this season, the 5-foot-10, 165-pound Terrell carried 275 times for 2,070 yards and 30 touchdowns and threw for 1,419 yards and 15 TDs. He returned two punts for scores and was named first-team All-Met at kick returner.
"He's not going to be happy without the ball in his hands," Schultze said. "I think he felt like he could step into U.Va. right now and help them next year. I think he wanted to get on the field right away."
Zach Terrell said he did not know what school his son had chosen until he helped conceal the Virginia cap under the table. Coincidentally, the elder Terrell was wearing a dark blue sweater vest over an orange plaid shirt, a very Cavalier-ish clothes choice considering the circumstances. But the official announcement came as news to him, and welcome news at that.
"I wanted U.Va. all the time," Zach Terrell said. "I talk to Coach London a lot and he seems like a sincere person. U.Va. I think can start something. The tide is going to turn from Virginia Tech to U.Va. I think my son should be a part of that. And everything ain't about football. At the end of the day, if you got a degree from U.Va., that's real strong."
Another piece of news came out of the event Wednesday: Dominique Terrell plans to play his first season of high school baseball this spring, in part because his mother, Tina, loves the sport. He played when he was younger.
That pursuit will require only one cap, not a choice of three college lids with TV cameras rolling.
"I'm happy I chose, I'm happy it's all over with," Terrell said. "Now I can start playing football again."
Recruiting spotlight video on Dominique Terrell.
Feature story on Dominique Terrell and his older brother Zach, a standout football player in his own right. (Nov. 18, 2010)
Earlier: Osbourn's Dominique Terrell ponders Miami, U-Va., WVU (Jan. 31, 2011)
All-Met Dominique Terrell mulls visits, offers (Jan. 4, 2011)
BCS schools high on list of Osbourn's Terrell (Oct. 21, 2010)
For an up-to-date list of all D.C.-area athletes and their college choices, check out Recruit Watch
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Washington Post editors
| February 2, 2011; 11:48 AM ET
Categories: Dominique Terrell, Football, Osbourn
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