The Falcons took cornerback A.J. Terrell as their first-round pick in this year’s NFL draft and many were confused by the pick. This was mainly because they had the everlasting memory of the LSU game stuck in their heads.
On January 13, 2020, the former Clemson standout was having the worst game of his career while millions of viewers tuned in to see it. Clemson fell 25-42 against the LSU Tigers in the CFB National Championship game.
For Terrell and many others, it was a terrible game to watch. For Falcons defensive coordinator Raheem Morris, it happened to be his favorite game to watch Terrell play in.
Morris Explains Why He Was a Fan of The LSU Game
To Morris, the LSU game was a great depiction of Terrell’s character. He pointed out the fact that Terrell never gave up while he was in the spotlight.
“The things that people didn’t like about him was his LSU game that he got beat on a couple of times, but that was what made me like him probably the most,” Morris told AtlantaFalcons.com. “In that game, I saw a guy go out there and challenge a guy. Get beat, not be afraid, make a play. Get beat, not be afraid, make a play.”
Right off of the bat, Terrell struggled to defend LSU star wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase allowing him to catch a 52-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter.
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Some Takeaways From The Game to Consider
Terrell was not only up against the best wide receiver in college football but also a Heisman winning quarterback, Joe Burrow.
Ja’ Marr Chase finished his sophomore season with 84 catches for an NCAA-best 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns. In the title game alone, Chase had nine catches, 221 yards and scored two touchdowns.
That doesn’t look good on the stat line, but you have to remember that Terrell was covering him one-on-one for the most part and nearly everyone who had to cover Chase last season was beaten by him. Terrell took on the challenge and kept trying play after play which is why Morris is so enthused by his competitiveness.
“That’s kind of our game, that’s kind of the life we live, especially when you live at corner,” Morris said. “People call it an island, but when you have the ability to go out there and play in a big-time game and be competitive that way and not be afraid to lose sometimes, which is going to happen, to be able to come back that next play to really make a play, those are the kind of guys that I love.”
Terrell Is Ready to Make a New First-Impression
People tend to hang on to first impressions but Terrell is getting a fresh start come September. He’ll be the Falcons’ primary starter at cornerback.
Terrell plans on bringing consistency to Atlanta and told Atlanta’s local media which opponent he looks forward to facing the most.
“Anybody, you know just going in there and competing with any WR in the league. I don’t have one WR in particular, just going into each game and just compete against everybody in the same way.’’
What he doesn’t plan on bringing are the mistakes he made on January 13.
“You have to have a short-term memory regarding the struggles in the national title game.”