By Rachel Terrill, Player Engagement Insider
NFL Prep Standout, Luke Terrill of Lebanon High School in Lebanon, Indiana, has the size and the speed to standout on the football field. But Terrill doesn’t just have all of the intangibles to be noticed as an offensive/defensive lineman by the nation’s top football schools, he also has the NFL pedigree to propel him to the top. Terrill’s uncle, Craig Terrill, a defensive tackle, played seven seasons in the NFL for the Seattle Seahawks.
Family ties are familiar in the NFL and genetics undoubtedly play some role in the making of an NFL player. Fathers and sons. Brothers. Cousins. Familiar names like Manning, Hasselbeck, Matthews, McCown, Gronkowski, and Barber are examples that the NFL can be a family business.
Terrill may just help land his family name to that list - and he’s not the only one.
Former running back Fred Taylor played thirteen seasons in the NFL for the Jacksonville Jaguars and the New England Patriots. His son, Kelvin, is a University of Florida running back who will follow in his father’s footsteps as he declares eligible for the 2016 NFL draft. Like his father, he was dominant on the college football field.
Ryan Nassib, back-up quarterback for the New York Giants, may also have family in the NFL soon. His younger brother, Carl Nassib, is a 6’6” 245-pound fifth-year senior defensive end at Penn State University who may hear his name called this year. Their youngest brother, John Nassib, is a sophomore defensive end for University of Delaware who has the pedigree and projected talent to join his brothers on the NFL field.
Unlike Taylor and Nassib, Terrill is still in high school. But, like those who came before, Terrill hears the stories of other NFL families and it encourages him to dream big. “I play football because I love football. But knowing my uncle Craig made it to the NFL makes me realize that the NFL is not an impossible dream.”
“Luke is as good of a high school lineman as I’ve ever seen,” his uncle, Craig, who grew into a football player on the same fields where the younger Terrill now plays, said. The elder Terrill also concedes that his nephew is already bigger and better than he was in high school.
After retiring from the NFL, Craig moved back to his hometown to help coach Luke and his other nephews. “Craig taught me the ins and outs of the game that he learned from his NFL coaches,” Terrill said. “He makes me work harder than the others. He said that size and speed won’t earn scholarships – it’s all about hard work and hustle.”
The younger Terrill must have listened closely, as he is among the area’s most sought-after linemen – with the added benefit of an NFL pedigree and everyday coaching from an NFL Legend who believes whole-heartedly in his protégé.
“Of course it would be great to see Luke play in the NFL,” the older Terrill admits. “But Luke will pave his own path and I will be there cheering for him every step of the way.”