Elite Class Senior Spotlight: Terence Stephens Jr., RB, Robert Morris University
Posted by: Jeremiah Wait @mrfootballwait, December 7, 2019
Terence Stephens Jr. is one of the best all around running backs who will be in the 2020 NFL Draft. He helped lead Robert Morris University to their first winning record since 2010 with a record of 7-5. Stephens athletic abilities have helped to separate himself from other running backs, as he became the first player since October 15, 1994 to eclipse 100 yards receiving and rushing in a game for Robert Morris.
College: Robert Morris University (FCS)
Watch Terence Stephen Jr.’s highlights
–Where are you from?
-Who has been the biggest influence in your life?
- The biggest influence in my life is definitely my dad. He’s been there for me every step of the road, and has always been someone that I can lean on if I ever need help. Not many people can probably say this about their dad, but I was his best man in his wedding. My dad has always been supportive of me with my football playing career.
-What are you looking to gain from the CGS (College Gridiron Showcase)?
- At the CGS in January of 2020, I’m looking forward to the opportunity to go up against players from bigger schools, and showing that I have the ability to play at that level. I played football at Bowling Green before transferring to Robert Morris, so I know that I have the skills that it takes to play at that level, now it’s just a matter of showcasing those skills in front of everyone.
-What has been the biggest adversity you’ve faced in your life, and how did you deal with it?
- One of the biggest challenges that I’ve faced in my life was when I was playing football at Bowling Green for my first two years before transferring to Robert Morris. It was tough having to sit on the sidelines, and it definitely humbled me as a person and player. When you go from being “the guy” in high school and thinking that you’re going to play right away, it definitely makes you take a step back when you aren’t in the role that you thought you were going to be in. There were a lot of times when I thought about quitting or thinking that this just isn’t for me anymore, but having the support of my family, especially my dad, helped me to grow belief in myself and ultimately, it led me to a great place in Robert Morris.
-What is one weakness that you have as a person that you need to improve upon?
- The one weakness that I have as a person, as well as a football player is just having more “knowledge.” What I mean by that is in life, I don’t think that I ask enough questions because I’m scared of putting myself out there at times. There is so much to learn in this world, and I need to learn to be more confident in myself and not be afraid to speak out. You can never have enough knowledge.
-Why do you love football?
- I don’t actually love football…I’m obsessed with it! At this point in my playing career, with trying to become a professional football player, you have to be obsessed with everything about football if you want to continue your playing career. Not many college athletes have the opportunity to be a called a professional athlete. Through hopefully playing professional football someday, I hope that it provides me with a platform that allows me to give back to the community.
-Who was the toughest player you played against in college and why?
- The toughest players that I played against in college was actually Kareem Hunt. Even though I didn’t personally play against him on defense while I was at Bowling Green, just watching him run the football and play the game was amazing to witness. He was an amazing player at Toledo and is a great player in the NFL, and I try to model my game somewhat after him.
-Describe your college football playing career?
- I faced a lot of adversity as a college football player, but I wouldn’t change anything, because it made me into the player and person that I am today. I learned to never give up, even if something bad happens. Trusting the process, as clique as that saying is, really describes myself as a person and player, because you have to continue to trust yourself as a player, and keep playing your game.
-When was a situation where you faced a bunch of adversity as a team, and how did you deal with it?
- It seemed to be the theme of our season this year, but as a team, we always came out flat in the first half of most games and would be down going into halftime. It would be confusing, because we would be confused as to why we couldn’t play well in the first half. Since this was the first season in awhile where we were actually winning games, I think at times, we became complacent and just thought that teams would lay down to us, because we were winning now. However, that wasn’t the case, and I think that we realized that we couldn’t just show up and win games.
-What separates yourself from other players at your position?
- I think what separates myself from other players at my position are my technique and attention to details with fundamentals. I believe that I have really good hands, have good route running ability, and am able to step up and pick up blitzes and understand the concepts of where the blitzes are coming from. I think my ability to catch the ball out of the backfield really shows, because I was able to run and catch for 100 yards in a game as a player.
-What is your biggest strength?
- My biggest strength is being hard-working. I’m willing to outwork anyone, and I take advantage of my opportunities because I know that they don’t come along often. I think this goes into my preparation and how I’m always prepared for my moment, because I don’t want to lose out on my opportunity to showcase who I am as a player, because I wasn’t prepared.
-What do you think needs to be improved the most with your game?
- I hope that I can improve my game by being able to go out into the slot and run routes. Being able to be a WR as a RB and running smooth, crisp routes would allow me the opportunity to hardly have to come off of the field. I like to watch a lot of Le’Veon Bell Highlights, and see what he does when he runs his routes.
-What was the most memorable play of your collegiate career?
- The most memorable play of my collegiate career actually happened this past season against Duquesne University. They are one of our biggest rivals and every game against them is always tough. We were trying to run the clock out with around two minutes left in the game, I was able to break loose for a 43-yard TD run to wrap the game up for us. The play kind of symbolized my career as a player, because I’m a finisher and it was cool to ice the game up and beat Duquesne for the first time in seven years.
-What is your definition of success?
- My definition of success is being happy with whatever you’re doing and seeing my family happy. Accomplishing goals can make you happy, but being able to see the happiness in my parents’ eyes because I’m making my dreams true is what motivates myself as a person and player.
-What is something interesting about yourself that many people don’t know about?
- I’m actually kind of a military brat, as both of my parents were in the military. Since I come from a military family, I traveled all across the country and the world growing up. I lived in Germany for awhile, so one of the coolest things I was able to do was I actually rode on the elevator to the first floor of the Eiffel Tower and got to see Paris from above, so that was pretty awesome! By living in so many different states, it’s provided with a unique opportunity of being able to network with a lot of people, many of which who I’m still in contact with today.
-What keeps you motivated to play football?
- My parents are my biggest motivator to continue playing football. Seeing how hard they’ve worked their whole lives to get to where they are now, it motivates myself to work hard and put myself in a position to accomplish my goals. My parents literally started from the bottom and made it to the top, and it took them a very long time to get to where they’re at, and I want to try and emulate that.
-How would teammates and coaches describe you?
- My teammates and coaches would describe me as someone who has outstanding character, a hard-worker, and a natural leader who would do anything for his teammates and coaches.
-What are three things you feel that you need in order to be successful in football?
- To be successful in football, I believe that you need great nutrition, training, and a great mentor.
-What do you like to do for fun?
- When I’m not doing activities related to football, some things that I like to do for fun are playing video games like Fortnite and NBA 2K. Trying to get that victory in Fortnite is always entertaining, especially if you’re playing duals with your friends. I also enjoy listening to music, as my favorite artists are Drake and Meek Mill.
*Terence has an incredible story and has fought his whole life to get to where he’s at today. Even though his playing career at times may not have gone the way that he would’ve liked, he’s someone that has great quickness, agility, and hands, which have helped to get his name out there. Keep an eye out for him at the CGS in Fort Worth, TX and in this years upcoming 2020 NFL draft, as he’s one of the best dual threat running backs that not many people have heard of.*