AN EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW WITH LSU ODYSSEY
John's Creek High School's
TERIAN WILLIAMS (CB/WR/RET)
1 Receiving TD
1 Punt Return TD
285 Return Yards
60 TACKLES (42 SOLO)
3 Forced Fumbles
2 Recovered Fumbles
-INVITATION TO THE 2022 FLORIDA VS GEORGIA ALL-STAR GAME
-TOP 10 LIST COMING VERY SOON
-TERIAN WILL COMMIT BEFORE THE START OF THE 2022 SEASON
-MAX PREPS PRESEASON SOPHOMORE ALL-AMERICAN
-MAX PREPS PRESEASON JUNIOR ALL-AMERICAN
-ADIDAS FRESHMAN ALL-AMERICAN
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Last time we caught up with 2022 John's Creek DB Terian "T.J" Williams, he was entering his junior year as a high school student in Georgia, right as Corey Raymond's DBU were hot on his trail. In July 2020 when we last published an official interview with T.J, his standout offers came from LSU, Arkansas, Florida State and Florida....noticeably missing among the list?
Kirby Smart's UGA...
Flash forward to almost a year later and Williams' stock only seems to skyrocket and yet UGA still haven't offered Terian...
Is it because of his underrated 3 star ranking?
Is it the lack of visibility for the young corner?
How is LSU beating UGA to Williams?
One fool's dismissal on the recruiting trail is another, more smarter man's next Honeybadger....
And despite his current raw capabilities, Terian "T.J" Williams is a firm favorite of DBU Miyagi Corey Raymond...who's DB-centered opinion could mean more?
LSU's DBs Coach Corey Raymond has been tracking T.J Williams for the past 2 years, offering him during 2019 when Terian went off in his titanic sophomore year at Parkview High.
In 2019 as a sophomore, Williams picked off 6 passes leading to keen interest from Florida's Todd Grantham, Wisconsin's Jim Leonhard and LSU's Corey Raymond...three of the best defensive minds in college football.
Great players have won his respect and friendship as well:
For the past few years now, he's been mentored by family friend Justin Fields (yes, that Justin Fields), climbed up the recruiting radar as well as becoming the first freshman ever to participate in Charlotte, North Carolina's Nike Opening Regional & Atlanta's Nike Elite 11 competitions.
So, how would Terian follow up his high octane 2019 sophomore season during this pandemic-shortened junior year?
He grew into a more mature athlete, easily making guys miss after the catch as a wide out & using brute force navigation in making expert tackles most DBs can barely attempt at his age...carrying John's Creek to a 4 game win streak during the 2020 season.
As quarterbacks were too afraid to throw his way, Williams still broke up 11 passes, intercepted a 12th, blasted opponents for 15 more tackles than 2019, returned a punt for a touchdown and caught another score on offense. While he didn't play QB himself this year, T.J was nevertheless all over the field, from corner to returner, wide out or halfback...
But don't get caught up in Terian's inescapable majesty on the gridiron... his genius off the field will maximize his future (whether he plays another down of football or not):
The future engineering major (from a family of engineers) currently rides a 4.0 GPA, 1350 SAT score followed by offers from Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Dartmouth, Columbia and Penn...a remarkable list of the most prestigious universities in the world...all wanting Terian's attendance.
Of course, it geauxs without saying his expert ball-hawking & coverage abilities are buoyed by his brains, although his knack for a big time hit can stun parental viewers, impress scouts and excite fans. It can be shocking coming from a young corner, such physicality and intensity, however this is the mindset and the mentality which creates professional ascension:
Versatility, inner positivity, charisma and improvisation...
Intangibles no one can coach...
Terian possesses those mental qualities and more, yet he's also born with the right physical establishment and profile to help him succeed: standing 6'0 tall, 175 lbs with plenty of room to grow, he's already been seasoned by one harsh on-field lesson after another on his way to triumph....
Well, he learned many over the course of 2020:
Dealing with the deadly realities of the pandemic first hand (as you'll soon read from his own words), Terian Williams survived a wild season against the negative tide of Covid, although a rough ending to last year's playoffs leaves behind a bitter taste for Terian.
For a squad which won 4 out of 5 games during the season, the John's Creek Gladiators sadly tasted defeat 24-0 in the first round of the playoffs to Alatoona, Terian sustaining a high ankle sprain in the 1st quarter knocking him out of the game (5 tackles, 3 solo, 1 PD, 50+ total yards at the time of his injury).
To say his absence played a role in John's Creek exiting the playoffs would be putting it mildly...Terian Williams is the heartbeat, the leader, the example of their team...
He's a jack of all trades constantly engineering the downfall of his opponents from all angles or positions on the field, in every phase of the game...watch as his star rankings rise with these "sure thing" betting recruiting services tripping over themselves to catch up.
Well, I can write this now: the Tigers' DBs Coach and potential DC Corey Raymond (aka the best recruiter in college football) could sense this young man's talents since he was a sophomore....
For Raymond & LSU, Terian is a 5 star...that's what Corey identifies when he watches film...not just what happened on any given play but who he would be developing & how far they can geaux...and that's where LSU Odyssey's second exclusive interview with Alpharetta, Georgia's Terian Williams begins:
LONN: What can LSU do most for you and what can you do most for LSU?
TERIAN: At LSU I can get a top of the line education, have the opportunity to play for a championship program, add to the legacy of DBU and compete in the SEC. LSU would get a player who is committed to being the best, working hard both on the field and classroom, a leader and someone who would earn the right to wear the legendary #7.
LONN: What has it been like being recruited by Corey Raymond ?
And what does the #7 mean to you?
TERIAN: Coach Raymond is an intense and honest coach, he takes pride in developing his DB’s and preparing them for the NFL or life after football.
During the season, we talk every other week, in the off season we talk weekly, he likes my versatility in terms of playing Corner, Safety, Nickel as well as Returning Punts & Kickoffs On Special Teams.
To wear #7 at LSU is one of the highest honors in College Football, it’s given to LSU’s most dynamic playmaker, X-factor & game-changer: Grant Delpit, D J Chark, Tyrann Mathieu & Patrick Peterson have worn #7 in recent years.
LONN: Who's your favorite from that list, Delpit, Chark, Mathieu, Peterson, Leonard Fournette, Jacoby Stevens or Ja'Marr Chase even?
TERIAN: Probably Tyrann Mathieu I love his versatility, passion and fire that he plays with.
LONN: Have you and your parents discussed the current situation at LSU? Have you and the coaches themselves talked about it and explained what's happening (regarding the allegations, opt-outs, transfers & the investigation)?
TERIAN: Yes my family and I have talked about the opt outs. 2020 is a different year than we have experienced before. The NFL, College and High School all have players that have opt outs. I think everyone expected that with a lot of uncertainty and (things that were) unknown as far as the allegations. My Dad is a Police Officer, he explained to me the process of someone accusing someone and someone having proof, evidence and providing that information, we will have to wait and see how the legal process system goes, then we can make an intelligent decision on our options.
LONN: With a father being a police officer that must've been a unique upbringing! Did your father play football as well?
TERIAN: He taught us to have high character, morals and to be discipline at all times. He played LB /TE in High School.
LONN: Keeping with the subject of family and life away from the football field, What was the biggest obstacle you've had to face in your young life?
TERIAN: My uncle passed when I was in the 8th grade, he attended all of my games. He would always ask what High School I would attend... he never saw any of my high school games. I dedicate each season to him. I will have an empty chair for him at my signing day with his name on it .
LONN: I'm so sorry Terian, what was your Uncle's name? What did he teach you?
TERIAN: Uncle Tamaris. I would say don’t take life for granted... tomorrow isn’t promised. Treat everyone the same way you would want others to treat you...
LONN: Did your Uncle Tamaris play football, too?
TERIAN: No, but he attended all of my games.
LONN: Sticking with family and those who've really believed in you from the beginning, who's helped, supported, cheered and encouraged your football career the most?
TERIAN: That’s easy, my Dad. He’s my roll model, mentor and my extra eye. He and I review film, go over training, practice interviewing coaches and he prepares me for my interviews with reporters so that I’m well spoken and well versed.
LONN: Speaking about your father, he knows Justin Fields' father for years as you told me and they're very tight. You also said Justin Fields and you are pretty tight yourselves, he also became your de facto mentor. Tell everyone about that if you can!
TERIAN: Our parents are really close, like I said our fathers were co-workers for years (both police officers who patrolled together). It's been a while since we last spoke, but he (Justin Fields) told me to "stay focused, stay in the books & out-grind everyone else."
LONN: As for your 2020 season, John's Creek bowed out in the 1st round of the playoffs to Allatoona, but their quarterback only tossed 95 yards total. He did throw 2 touchdowns, how did you feel you played in the playoff game? (Terian exited early) Max Preps has you at 5 tackles (3 solo) and 51 total yards in that 1st Round game.
TERIAN: (Laughs) I twisted my ankle in the 1st quarter (high ankle sprain) and I didn’t play the rest of the game, been going to therapy 3 days a week since the injury.
LONN: How's the ankle doing?
TERIAN: My ankle is fine, started practicing this week.
LONN: TJ, what play would you rather be making? An INT or a hard hit forcing an incompletion?
TERIAN: I would rather have a big hit forcing an incompletion. The big hit intimidates the WR next time he runs a route or lines up across from you... it’s always in the back of his mind.
LONN: How did you feel watching LSU last night (the night before had been the LSU upset over Florida during the "Shoe Game")??
TERIAN: It was a shocker! Not so much LSU winning but a true freshman QB (Georgia Athlete) starting on the road in the swamp and being short handed due to the virus...(Terian is talking about the illustrious LSU QB Max Johnson).
LONN: How 'bout Eli Ricks stealing his 4th interception & taking it to the house
(2 overall RET TDs)?
TERIAN: The play was nice, looked like he dropped back in a zone and read the QB’s eyes and jumped on the route.
LONN: What do you think about all the Georgia born Tigers? B.J Ojulari was one of the highest rated freshmen of all time according to Pro Football Focus College, Arik Gilbert will be back (once again, one of the best freshmen of all time), Jay Ward's game exploded in 2020,
Raydarious Jones is another Georgia DB, 2021 freshman DE Zavier Carter (already an early enrollee), Max at QB of course, DE/OLB Phillip Webb, then historically Arden Key, Kelvin Sheppard (who's our current Director of Player Development), Tory Carter won a title and is now in the NFL Draft, then a trio of Tiger long snappers all from the same UGA high school: Buffalo Bills' Reid Ferguson, his younger brother Blake (who was drafted by Miami this last spring) & their protege Quentin Skinner all hailing from Buford High ...there's many more I'm forgetting...
TERIAN: LSU has a long list of former and current Georgia athletes who continue to excel both on and off the field I see no reason why that success won’t continue moving forward.
LONN: What were some things you could improve upon or plays you'd love to have back this year for John's Creek??
TERIAN: After watching film there were a few times my angles on certain routes could’ve been flatter which would have allowed me to get to the ball quicker for the PBU or INT.
LONN: How was the process trying to practice and get going for the season during a pandemic? What were your experiences?
TERIAN: It was definitely different, practicing in small groups....you had to have your own water bottle, your own towel, our weight room had to be sanitized after each set, social distancing in practice, parents couldn’t attend practices, limited fans in stands, pre-pay for tickets, we couldn’t shake the opposing teams' hands after games, not to mention all the zoom calls, our team had several players and coaches out due to Covid-19.
I think everyone was glad to make it to the finish line.
LONN: What is the #1 lesson you'll take from your 2020 experience?
TERIAN: Tomorrow is never guaranteed. Don't take anything for granted.
LONN: What do you think of the 2022 class and where you stack up?
TERIAN: I’m the most versatile player in the 2022 class: I play every position on the backend, WR, Gunner on special teams as well as Punt & KO Return.
LONN: Your former Grayson teammate 4 Star Safety Michael Daugherty also has an LSU offer, what do you think about the prospects of playing at DBU with Michael?
TERIAN: Michael is a good player I know him well. We will be playing 7v7 together for Hustle Inc. (About talking LSU with Daugherty) Nah, most Georgia athletes keep their top school close to the belt until they commit... then they start recruiting players to join them.
LONN: So....the inevitable question: Which school are you leaning towards, Terian? You've got LSU, Florida, Florida State, K-State, Pitt, Kentucky on your list of offers...but crazily UGA haven't offered you yet...
TERIAN: Not leaning towards a particular school, I need to get on campuses to see coaches face to face & check out campuses, facilities and get a feel for the culture. (About Georgia's non-offer) My motto is "if you didn't recruit me, you'll be game-planning against me on Saturdays"....
LONN: That's exactly what you said in response to that question in our last interview!
LONN: Thank you so much for talking with us again, T.J! Have a good rest of your junior year and offseason heading into senior year!
TERIAN: I appreciate you!
DEDICATED TO: TAMARIS WILLIAMS
by LONN PHILLIPS SULLIVAN
Copyright 2021 Uninterrupted Writings Inc LLC
SHOUTOUTS: TERIAN IS AN AMAZING YOUNG MAN GET READY FOR ONE RIP ROARING SENIOR YEAR FROM THIS DBU DESTINY DUDE!