With TEs being the focus of our recruiting news over the last few weeks, I’ll be taking a look this at who might be on the horizon for us next year in the talented 2022 WA TE class. This is the second TE I’ve profiled, and you can check out my breakdown of Terry’s fellow Tumwater TE, Ryan Otton, here.
Austin Terry (TE, 6’5” 230, Tumwater HS, WA)
I’ll be completely honest. I’m a bit jealous of the talent that Tumwater head coach Bill Beattie has to work with. He might have two future Power 5 tight ends in his rising junior class between Austin Terry and Ryan Otton. No doubt, Beattie has done his fair share in developing these kids, but they both have some serious talent for him to mold. Otton is the familiar Tumwater name (you can check out my profile and breakdown of him here), and he and legacy TE target Chance Bogan are near the top of our 2022 TE recruiting board, but Terry should not be overlooked as a serious prospect who might be worth an offer.
Listed as a solidly built 6-5 and 230 lbs, a listing that is believable on tape, Terry has the frame that screams “future Y-TE”. He checked all of the boxes on my eye test when it comes to projecting HS TEs to the college level. He’s a big, natural, and coordinated athlete that moves well. He also has solid hands, ball tracking, and footwork. He’s more of a glider than an explosive athlete, but I don’t expect him to win with athleticism on a regular basis in college anyway. Projecting future S&C results and potential mass gains is always tricky for guys this young, but I think Terry is promising. Like Otton, Terry hasn’t yet fully filled out his frame, which is a good sign for his projection to TE. Guys that are carrying around P5 TE bulk as juniors typically find themselves playing on the line. A long frame with a solid build (6-3+ & 215-235 as a rising junior) and athleticism that matches up with a decent HS WR is usually what I expect out for a TE at that age. Terry fits that mold, and another 20 lbs is very reasonable. I could even see Terry bulking past 250 and towards Jacob Kizer or Will Dissly size to be an edge enforcer from the TE position.
As I alluded to above, Terry has natural receiving traits. He looks the ball into his hands, he’s comfortable making catches from all angles (i.e. over the shoulder, breaking to the sidelines, breaking over the middle, etc.), and he secures the ball through contact. He’s also aligned at several different spots (Y-TE, slot, bunch, H-back), which is useful experience that should help him be a movable chess piece for OCs to use when hunting for match ups. Again, these check all the boxes for what I’m looking for in a Y-TE because these are the traits and versatility you need to be a reliable receiver when the game speeds up and separation is much harder to get. On the other hand, I’m also looking for YAC ability (yards after catch either with elusiveness or power), and I don’t see high level open field running ability. The big plays you see him get are ones where he shows of his solid straight-line speed, but those out running safeties will become much more difficult as the competition gets better. I also would want to see a more varied route tree beyond simple seams, corners, and speed outs, but I won’t blame that on him given his run-heavy HS offense.
Finally, I always love it when a young TE has an entire cut up of his blocking highlights.
He isn’t a mauler just yet, but you can tell he’s out to mash defenders. Some guys are big for nothing and don’t know how to throw around their weight, but it’s very clear Terry isn’t one of them. That’s not surprising to me considering Tumwater’s knack for pumping out hard-nosed football players. Again, it’s hard to project some of his blocking ability to the next level at this point, but seeing him plow linemen on double teams, reach and seal the edge on perimeter runs, and attack second and third level defenders late in the play after pancaking his first assignment are all positive signs that get me excited about his prospects. Physicality and making the most of easier blocking assignments are the building blocks for developing a strong blocking tight end. Get him up to 250 and you could see him start to really make his presence felt.
Terry won’t wow the national media, and he’s not at the top of our boards, but he’s the kind of player we’ve been very successful with. Our TE scholarship numbers might get tight, so I don’t expect movement on him anytime soon, but we shouldn’t have any concern about a drop off in talent if we find ourselves falling behind our top targets.