How Michael Terry Became Texas' Top-Rated Athlete

Photo by Alex Garza

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Michael Terry needs his sleep. 

That’s not always an easy thing to get as one of the most sought-after recruits in the country, but he’s trying.

“Sleep is a big part of recovering yourself,” Terry said. “Sometimes you want to stay up playing video games with your friends and stuff. Sometimes you can’t do that; sometimes you have to go to sleep.”

His phone definitely goes on silent whenever it’s time for those Zs given virtually every blueblood program in the country is hitting him up.

The 6-foot-3, 210-pound junior from Alamo Heights is a DCTF four-star recruit ranked as the No. 1 athlete and No. 18 overall player in Texas for the Class of 2025. 

Terry holds offers from some of the nation’s best programs, including Baylor, Missouri, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Oregon, TCU, Texas, and Texas A&M.

Each and every offer is the culmination of a dream he began to have back in middle school.

“I started to see how much better I could be and how much better I could make myself if I kept working hard,” Terry said. “That’s the point I started to work to get to the point I’m at right now.”

His hard work is paying off. He was named the District 13-5A Division II MVP in 2023 after compiling 995 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns to go along with 564 receiving yards and 10 TDs. He was also 2-of-3 passing for two touchdowns, had a two-point conversion, tallied 15 tackles, 1 INT,  and a defensive touchdown. Alamo Heights only lost one game all season.

The biggest challenge he has faced playing football has been all the different positions he’s had to learn. As a junior, Terry lined up as a wide receiver, running back, punter, and was the main kick and punt returner for the Mules. 

Terry said it’s difficult since coaches can’t just put him at a position and that’s all he has to worry about. He’s had to keep learning, but it’s helped him a lot.

“My coaches have had a big impact on my journey,” Terry said. “Offensive coordinator coach [Mike] Barranco, he’s put me in positions to get me the ball and has made me a better leader.”

His family has played a big part in his journey too. Terry said he’s thankful for all they have done. They have put a roof over his head, made sure he had food on the table, and gear to play in. He’s grateful for it all, but he wishes he took some of their advice growing up.

“They’ve taken me to trainers to better myself and I’m grateful for that,” Terry said. “I do wish I tried to trust them more because sometimes you get caught up in just playing the game and not worrying about what they’re saying and telling you what to do.”

Some advice he has for younger players is to play as many sports as possible growing up. Terry said if you just stick to one sport, you’re not going to try to do other things that will help your body grow and develop in different ways.

“I did Taekwondo when I was little,” Terry said. “That helped with mobility and flexibility for me. I also played basketball and ran track growing up and those helped with my speed and agility.”

He ran a wind-legal 11.07 100-meter and placed eighth in the high-jump at the Texas 5A regionals as a sophomore. But he always knew that football was his calling.

His biggest inspiration in football is Dallas Cowboys receiver Ceedee Lamb. He loves the way Lamb plays the game and shows his confidence on the field. Terry follows a similar playstyle and understands that some may see him as cocky, but that’s far from who he is. 

“I’m a humble kid,” Terry said. “On the field, I’m going to show how much I love the game and I’m going to be cocky. But off the field I want to show people I’m a good kid and I try to get good grades.”

For his football aspirations, Terry said he just wants to keep bettering himself. He wants to get better, faster, and stronger. He knows the game continues to evolve and he just has to work harder.

“It’s been a big step from when I first started playing,” Terry said. “It’s been easier for me because I’ve been putting in the work and trying to get better everyday.”

Now, if he can just get some sleep.

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