AJ Terrell was a 5-star defensive back from Westlake High School in Atlanta and a huge part of Clemson’s class of 2017. Rivals had Terrell as the 13th best player and 2nd best cornerback in America, along with being the 2nd best player in Georgia. Despite having offers from the likes of Alabama, Auburn, and other SEC and ACC programs, AJ committed to Clemson in August of 2016, before Clemson’s historic championship season.
One thing I always love about Clemson playing against G5 schools is getting a glimpse of young players. The 2017 opener against Kent State was perfect for this. So, as I was trying to fashion some of the free Tiger Rags in Death Valley around my neck and arms to shield myself (unsuccessfully) from the September sun, I noticed a few young players that stood out. Those players were AJ Terrell, Isaiah Simmons, and Travis Etienne. Terrell’s 2017 numbers are light, given that he was a freshman just cutting his teeth, but he had an interception against Boston College in a game that was tight before Kelly Bryant and Co. broke it open in the fourth quarter. Even early on, you could seen something special in AJ.
AJ Terrell really showed out in 2018. He finished the year with three picks, and man were they big ones. The first one came in the Clemson-Syracuse game that still gives us chills. The next was in the ACC Championship as Clemson wrecked Pitt en route to ACC title number four. And the third one, well, words really can’t do justice.
In a game that started out looking like it was going to be a slugfest between two heavyweights, getting that kind of momentum on such an early play was huge and instrumental to Clemson’s 44-16 route. 2018 saw Terrell get third team All-ACC honors and All-Bowl Season honors, and set him up to be a name to watch in 2019.
In 2019 AJ was named first team All-ACC, and was credited with 39 tackles and had interceptions against Louisville and Wake Forest. His last game was certainly not one to remember as Joe Burrow and the LSU receiving corps gave him fits all night. Upon some review of tape, it wasn’t always necessarily anything AJ did wrong but alot of the LSU wide receivers doing everything right. Regardless of that game, Terrell had a solid career at Clemson and had plenty to show as a candidate in the 2020 NFL draft. His combine measurements of 6’1” and his 4.43 forty time make him a very attractive prospect to many NFL teams. Look for Terrell to go somewhere in the second round, and we all know he’ll continue to make Clemson proud.