The preliminary diagnosis isn’t good, but Goose Creek football standout Tramel Terry doesn’t sound the least bit concerned.
Terry, who was named South Carolina’s Mr. Football earlier this month, suffered a knee injury Saturday on the opening kickoff of the Shrine Bowl all-star game in Spartanburg. On Monday, he was told he likely had a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. He is expected to have an MRI later this week.
“He went to the doctor (Monday) and the preliminary exam indicates that he has a tear. Everyone who has looked at it feels he has a tear,” Goose Creek coach Chuck Reedy said.
“The plan is for him to go to Athens (Ga.) either Wednesday or Thursday and consult with doctors about surgery and rehab. That’s the right move because their people will do the surgery and oversee his rehab.”
Terry has committed to play for the Georgia Bulldogs. He completed high school this month and will enroll at Georgia in January.
Terry was upbeat Monday afternoon.
“My knee doesn’t hurt, and it’s not swollen,” he said. “I don’t know how to explain it, but they say I have a torn ACL. I will be back May or June. I’m glad it happened now rather than later.”
Terry slightly injured his right knee last week while practicing for the Shrine Bowl. He said he had a premonition that something might happen in the game, which was played at Wofford’s Gibbs Stadium.
“I looked down at the grass and it was wet. I had that feeling,” he said. “I had my long cleats and not my detachable ones. That probably had something to do with it.”
Terry fielded the opening kickoff and felt his knee give out when he made a cut. He was hit and fumbled the ball. He did not return to the game.
“The hit didn’t have anything to do with it,” Terry said. “I made the cut, felt something wasn’t right and then was hit. The hit might have made it worse.”
The injury was a big blow to Terry and to the Georgia football team. He is one of the crown jewels of the Bulldogs’ recruiting class. ESPN listed him as the No. 55 player in the country and the No. 6 athlete. Terry was scheduled to play in the Under Armour All-America Game next month in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Terry, 6-0, 190 pounds, was expected to participate in spring drills at Georgia and contribute immediately as a backup running back and slot wide receiver. He was also being considered as a cornerback. But now it looks like he will miss spring practice and could redshirt for the 2013 season.
Terry posted 1,861 all- purpose yards his senior season and scored 24 touchdowns. He rushed for 841 yards, averaging 7.4 yards per carry, and had 818 receiving yards. Terry also averaged 18.4 yards per kickoff return.
He finished his career with 1,817 rushing yards and 33 touchdowns and 2,556 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns.
Reedy predicts Terry will return to full strength.
I saved a newspaper article about (Minnesota running back) Adrian Peterson,” Reedy said. “Last December, he tore his ACL and MCL, and now that guy is getting ready to set an NFL rushing record.
“Tramel will play next fall if he is good enough. He’ll come back. He’s a great athlete and has handled it well. He is very mature and has the right attitude.”
Terry tweeted many times before Monday’s examination and thanked his followers for their support.
Many people offered best wishes for a speedy recover, including University of South Carolina running back Marcus Lattimore, who suffered a season-ending knee injury in October.
“My boy @TeamTDterry_GC gonna be fine,” Lattimore tweeted. “God doesn’t make mistakes.”
Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @pandcphil.