Incoming freshman Cuney ready for new chapter

Jeremy Thomas

When Terrell Cuney committed to Texas last year, he not only picked his college destination, but he also fulfilled a dream. 

“I played with [Texas] on NCAA Football,” Cuney said. “I wore Texas gear even before I thought about going there. I just grew up loving them. It’s just a good place to be. I never wanted to go play out of state. I never even thought about that. I never wanted to go that far away from my mom.”

Cuney — a 6-foot-3-inch center from Jasper, a town barely over 7,500 citizens — said his mom is his biggest supporter.

“She’s never missed a game since I started playing football or any other sport I played,” Cuney said. “I can honestly say that. It’s all about grades with her. She always told me, ‘You don’t have to be the best, but you have to give your best.’ Whatever I did, she wanted me to do to the best of my abilities.”

Darrell Barbay, Jasper head football coach, said Cuney gives maximum effort on every task and works hard on and off the field.

“He is a great kid and a very studious athlete,” Barbay said. “He’s predominately [making] all ‘A’s here. He takes care of business, and I hope he’s a quality football [player] at Texas. Any time you’re a good football player, [then] that helps your team win.”

Cuney was recruited by former football head coach Mack Brown and his coaching staff, and he stuck around under new football head coach Charlie Strong because he feels Strong can make a positive change. 

“Mack was a great coach,” Cuney said. “I thank him for everything. His coaching staff was great too, but everything needs change. I feel like we can really do something under coach Strong, and I think he’s got a good path going right now.”

Earlier this year, Cuney accepted an invitation to play in the U.S. Army All-American Bowl. 

“I know I’m a little undersized right now, but I give my speed and my explosive power to do the things that I need to do,” Cuney said. “I’m at 276 [pounds] right now, and I’ve gained about 26 pounds since the Army Bowl, so I’m getting there. I know when I get there, they’ll put that weight on me, and, hopefully, I’ll be able to carry it and still be able to run and things like that.”

Cuney will enroll at Texas in the summer to participate in summer camp. With less than a month until he graduates high school, Cuney said he wants to enjoy Jasper while he can.

“I got a lot of emotions right now,” Cuney said. “I am just trying to spend a lot of time with my family and my friends and enjoy the time with what I have while I’m here. I already call Austin home. I mean, Jasper will always be my home, but I call Austin home because, every time I go, I just feel at home.”