He had two dozen offers from some of the best football colleges in the country. In the end, Jermaine Terry II, a star as both an athlete and student at Kennedy High, opted to stay close to home.
On Monday, the senior announced on Twitter he is committed to playing for the Cal Bears next fall.
“The recruitment process has been great for me but they say ‘home is where your heart is’ and Cal is that,” Terry said.
In an interview with 247sports.com, Terry said distance did not factor into his decision.
“But truly, it was the best fit for me, with academics and athletics, and the addition of Coach (Bill) Musgraves and I wanted to let the world know that it was the place for me,” Terry told the sports publication.
Terry is a 6-4, 235-pound 4-star tight end described as a “matchup nightmare” by 247Sports National Recruiting Editor Brandon Huffman.
“…Impossible for DBs to cover with his size and too athletic and strong for linebackers to cover,” Huffman’s report states. “Has tremendous hands, and his quickness off the line lends to his difficulty to cover.”
Last fall, Terry helped fuel Kennedy High’s epic season that resulted in a 11-2 record, 4-1 in league play. The Eagles made it all the way to the D-6 North Coast Section championship game. They lost by three points, coming just short of earning the school’s first NCS title in 31 years.
Terry hasn’t just shined on the field, but also in the classroom and his community. Kennedy High Head Coach Greg Marshall described him as a mature and humble leader. Last year, Terry was honored as a US Bank Inspirational Athlete. And in December, the Richmond City Council honored Terry with a city proclamation. City leaders noted he had a 3.7 GPA.
“You don’t find that many players who, as good as he is, and as good as he can be, he’s very humble,” Marshall told the Standard.
The coach said he’s extremely happy for Terry.
“His hard work has paid off,” Marshall said. “I know Jermaine really prides himself on academic achievements and the chance to get a free education from Cal is extremely hard to pass up. Most importantly I’m happy for him and his family, his mom especially. She does an awesome job raising him and I know he wants to make her proud.“
At the council proclamation, Councilmember Demnlus Johnson III called Terry “a great example of what it means not only to be an Eagle, but a Richmond resident.”
“Hope you come back home and help us move this city forward,” Johnson said.
Throughout all of the accolades, Terry has expressed gratitude. Following his city proclamation and also in his recent Tweet committing to Cal, Terry thanked God, his mother, his family and teammates for his success. Having lost his father at a young age, Terry was forced to grow up quickly and become a leader. He pays tribute to the name on the back of his jersey. “It means something,” he has said.
“First I want to start off by thanking God for how much he has blessed me and always set me on the right path,” Terry said in the Tweet Monday. “I want to thank my mom for doing all that she does, I can never repay her. I want to thank my family for always supporting my decisions and pushing me to be the best I can be everyday. I want to thank my friends for always keeping me grounded and level headed.”