16 July 2008
| Terry Grant - #29 – RB – 5-10 – 188 lbs – Lumberton, MS – Lumberton HS – 1 Varsity Letter
It didn’t take Terry Grant long to make a splash in 2007. On Bama’s 1st Offensive play of the season, Terry took a toss play 47 yards for a TD. He was the SEC Freshman of the week that week, and for each of the next 2 weeks. It looked like 2007 was going to be a huge year for Terry, and then injury struck.
It’s not as though the year ended up being terrible. He set the Alabama Freshman Rushing Record with 891 yards, to go along with 8 rushing TDs. Throw in an additional 176 receiving yards, and you get a total of 1,067 all-purpose yards. Not bad for a guy who missed 2 games due to injury, and was severely limited in another.
He had surgery to correct a sports hernia immediately following the season, and was ready to go full speed in spring practice. He was one of the stars of Bama’s A-Day game, totaling 109 yards and 2 touchdowns on just 10 touches of the football; creating the day’s biggest play, a 10 yard crossing route that turned into a 75 yard TD.
: With Glen Coffee
missing time in spring practice due to injury, Terry likely moved back into the starting tailback role, at least when fall camp opens. If he intends to keep that job, he will have to demonstrate the ability to take the punishment of SEC hits for a full season – something he was unable to do in 2007.
Too many times in 2007 he went down after the first contact. Another year in the strength and conditioning program should help that, but his running style and frame are just not conducive to running between the tackles in the SEC. He is a legitimate homerun threat when he gets to the corner, however, so expect to see him used outside the tackle box a lot.
Look for him to see the ball a ton on screen passes and crossing routes, where his speed will be dominant over a linebacker or safety. Jim McElwain’s
offense will attempt to take advantage of his blazing speed to get him the ball in space. His long TD in the A-Day game is a great demonstration of what Terry is capable of doing if given the opportunity to out-run his opponents.
He still needs to improve on the parts of being a running back that do not involve carrying the football, specifically pass blocking. He showed considerable improvement in this during the A-Day game. How well he is able to pick up blitzing linebackers might be the determining factor of how much he plays in 2008.
If he can stay healthy this year, look for Terry to again approach the 1,000 rushing mark. Also expect to see him total far more than the 26 receptions he had last year.