After enrolling for spring semester, Trevor Terry had as much to prove as anyone during the Southern Miss spring practice.
During the USM spring game, the Long Beach native showed Saturday he’s set to make a contribution as a sophomore receiver in 2017.
Terry pulled in a 24-yard touchdown reception from sophomore quarterback Keon Howard early in the third quarter for one of only two offensive touchdowns during Saturday’s scrimmage.
“It felt good finally just getting in the end zone,” he said. “It feels good to finally start getting a connection with the quarterback.”
Terry, who pulled in a pair of receptions for 32 yards, signed with USM in November after spending one season at Jones County Junior College in Ellisville. He caught 16 passes for 217 yards and a touchdown in an offense that struggled to pass the ball.
USM has two options at quarterback, sophomore Keon Howard and redshirt junior Kwadra Griggs, who should have no problem finding Terry and his fellow receivers this season.
Terry believes the Golden Eagles will be successful in the passing game no matter who is behind center.
“They can both throw it,” he said. “Both of their arms are amazing. They can throw it down the field, for sure. They’re not really runners unless they need to, but they have a lot of arm talent. Both are smart guys who give us a shot.”
Terry feels comfortable with both passers after spending the spring seeing his first passes from Howard and Griggs.
“I feel like I have a good chemistry,” he said. “After practice and stuff, we always stay and get a few extra passes in. I’m just hanging out with those guys, getting to know them. It’s always good to hang around the quarterbacks. We’re getting there. Me being a new guy and them both being young, we’re getting there.”
Terry ran mostly with the second string this spring in what appears set to be a deep receiving corps after a strong performance from the group Saturday. Senior Isaiah Jones had three catches for 80 yards. Redshirt sophomore Jordan Mitchell caught three passes for 87 yards and returning leading receiver Allenzae Staggers pulled in three passes for 62 yards.
“We’re pretty deep,” Terry said. “We’ve got some guys that can go get it, fast guys. Quez (Watkins) is really fast. We have some talented guys.”
USM head coach Jay Hopson pointed to Mitchell and Terry as two players set to make an impact after they weren’t with the team a year ago. Mitchell sat out last season with a back injury.
Terry had an easy path to the end zone Saturday when Howard found him wide open over the middle, allowing him to race through the secondary.
“I had a drag on the play and I knew it was coming to me because everything else on the other side seemed like it was clouded up,” he said. “I was free running across the middle and they’ve been in cover-two the whole game. When I caught it, I was expecting a corner to be there, but he wasn’t. So I just had a free pass into the end zone.”
With a full summer to watch film and prepare fall camp, he already feels confident in the USM offense.
“I’m pretty comfortable,” he said. “It’s nothing too hard. At JCJC, we ran a lot of the same formations. It wasn’t too hard of a transition for me. I think I’ve got the hang of it now.”