What is your full name.
Terrell Lee Wells.
Where are you from?
Is that closer to Richmond or Fredericksburg? Which metropolitan area do you most closely associate?
I'd say I have the best of all three - it's right in the middle of Richmond, Fredericksburg, and Charlottesville. It's right there in the country.
What is Louisa best known for?
Friday night football games. When I was there, we had the record-breaking crowd in the state two weeks in a row. We pride ourselves on high school football.
In high school, what activities were you a part of
I was the Vice President of the National Honor Society. I was in Yearbook, Future Business Leaders of America, and some other clubs and organizations.
What were your major responsibilities with the yearbook?
I didn't edit or anything but I just wrote in the academic section; so science and theater were my highlights.
What other sports did you participate in high school?
I played basketball and ran track.
What events in track?
I was a long jumper, a triple jumper, 4x100 relay.
What other playing opportunities did you consider coming
out of school?
Considering where I was, I looked at Richmond and James Madison. Also, Norfolk State, UVA, and Maryland.
What powered your decision to come to William and Mary?
My coach, Mark Fisher, pretty much laid everything out for me. He asked for a list of 20 schools and he decided he would send film to all of them. I'm a homebody with a pretty close-knit family, so when it came down to it, it was between Richmond, JMU, and William and Mary for the top three. When I came here it seemed more like home. It just felt like a perfect fit.
Who was your recruiting coordinator?
It's kind of funny. A coach who is no longer here started recruiting me, but I completely lost contact with William and Mary. I thought it was out and started looking for other options. Then randomly, [former Tribe running back coach] Stephen Jerry came by the school for a visit, then a week later he was at my basketball game and in the living room talking. He put an offer on the table and here I am.
So for at least a little while you thought you might not
even be a part of the Tribe?
Oh not at all. I thought the Tribe had forgotten all about me. But, just the way things turned out, it really seemed like fate.
You said you have a really close family. How many brothers and sisters do you have?
That's the funny thing I say I have a close family but when I say close I mean my mother and I. I'm an only child.
Your mother's name is?
Janice Hackney. She was just remarried.
What has she meant to you in your life? Was it just the two of you?
Yeah, it was just the two of us. She has been a best friend, a mentor and provider. She is whom I talk to about everything. She's always there for me to provide insight, whether it be with school or my future. She pretty much deals with all the lady situations as well, so she's my ace.
What is your major?
I am a kinesiology and health science major.
What do you aspire to do with that degree past your
I think the next thing for me to do is pursue an exercise science degree at the graduate level, while being a GA with a football program. From there, I'm going to see how I like coaching and take the direction of going to PT school or continue a coaching career.
I think I will prolong the school thing a bit longer.
How was it to play as a true freshman here? You had immediate success, if I remember
I actually scored on the second series I've ever played in college football. It was a fumble that I took in 29 yards for a touchdown against Delaware in the 2007 season. It was really exciting. To be honest, I got off to a rough start in my first days on the football field. I had a terrible first practice, I was nervous so I really had to sit myself down and let myself know I could do this. Throughout that training camp I was making strides to where I was climbing up the depth chart at cornerback. I saw some action in the first game and that really set me up for the season. I think I really played well as a freshman. That following year, of course, I suffered a season-ending injury.
Your second year , you injured your elbow severely
in the third game of the season. Where
you also a corner at that time?
Yes. Then I came back for the '09 season we were in the three-way rotation between myself, Ben Cottingham and B.W. Webb. We were fortunate to have strength at the corner position that year we had three guys that could go at any time so we had a three-way rotation going. I played corner the whole year.
But last year [2010}, the staff asked you to move to free
safety for the year? How did that switch
The final week of spring season, [former Tribe defensive coordinator] Coach [Bob] Shoop called me to his office. He sat me down and let me know there would be some changes and that I would be moving to the starting free safety position. I was shocked; I thought we had some talent at the free safety level but he just really wanted to get more experience on the field. I took that and I ran with it and started the entire 2010 season at free safety.
Were you comfortable at that position?
I had some ups and downs with it. I had a lot of success but again it was difficult to adjust. I had to do some more in the box types of plays and defend more runs that was difficult because I'm used to being out there on an island just locking things down.
So now you are back to a much more natural position?
Yes, it is a much more natural position, but I think playing safety last year benefited me in the sense that it made me a more physical corner.
You have a very unique perspective of playing on the '07
defense and the '09 defense that was obviously a radical change in success. Could you just talk about how much progress
the unit made in a very short time?
As a defense, we completely turned it around. During the '07 season, there were games where we were giving up 30, 40, sometimes even 50 points and now our goal is to hold teams under 20 points every Saturday. When we do that, we usually played well. We made turnovers, we ran to the ball, we tackled well, and we did some good things. I think now as a defense we're smarter, more physical, read our keys well. We just react-there's a lot less thinking going on out there. People are put in positions where they can make plays and we saw some success. Coach Shoop laid an excellent groundwork to becoming a great defense some of the mentalities he instilled in both the players and the coaches have really carried over even after he left. We still continue a lot of his quotes like 'an opportunity missed is an opportunity lost we won't get that opportunity again.' That helped a lot of the players focus up and play one play at a time by focusing on that one snap and that will carry over to the remainder of the game.
Early in this 2011 season, things haven't gone quite as
well as we have hoped. Being one of the
many seniors on this squad, do you feel like the leadership has tried to get in
front of this season and try to bring people back to focus on what needs to be
done on a week to week basis?
Yes, I think when you struggle early it is the job of the leaders to step up, get everyone refocused, and just let everyone know this is a long season. You have to play one game at a time and you can't do anything about last week. You just have to focus on the coming week.
Our guys have really bought into this 1-0 every
week. Is it common that a young guy
would make more of a particular game then they should?
I think as a young guy coming in, you see the name of the school and you automatically think that they're bigger than another school. For instance, playing at UVA as opposed to VMI-those are two different levels of football. As leaders we have to take those guys under our wing and let them know that if they really want to successful into November, you have to play one game at a time. You can't focus on the next week, when you still have a task right in front of you. We know if we concentrate and focus, the guys are locked into doing their job each week, they can bring success by just challenging us and giving us what we'll see over the weekend, we will continue to get better, and continue improving as a defense.
As a fifth year senior, can you see any lessons for your
life from the mentality of staying focused on the task at hand?
Definitely. I've always believed that football teaches life lessons. Whether it's determination to work your way to the top or work ethic, dedication, or focus, these are all things that football teaches you as a young man. It becomes instilled in you and you can use those things when it comes to your schoolwork and your occupation. You can't be surprised by success, you have to expect success and I think that's something we've done as a football team. And when we don't get success we know it's not too far away we just have to change some things and refocus.
This team came into a season where there were a great
deal of expectations in rankings and such. As far as reacting to negatives, how
is the team coming together?
Rankings are just numbers they don't mean anything. Those are for the public but what we know is we have to focus, we have to concentrate. We have to go to practice every day and put forth work ethic because we know we're going to see some tough games down the road. What happens within this Tribe football team is the business of this Tribe football team and we know that we need to focus, we need to stay strong, be there for one another and just become a family and be a better team.
What is something that you enjoy doing that has nothing
to do with football?
I'd say my greatest talent right now is this acting class I'm in. The teacher says I may be a star, so I'm going to see how that works out.
What role would you like to play?
I'm a Denzel guy-he walks the walk and talks the talk so if I could play him in any movie like Training Day.
What sort of academic interests do you have?
The most interesting thing I've got going on right now is this anatomy lab I'm in on Wednesday nights. There's three bodies laid out on the table and you just sort of have to figure things out. I've learned a lot about muscles, veins, arteries, nerves, and I think that's really interesting. It's very time-consuming, as you have to go in on your own sometimes.
What are your interests at the College, outside of
This summer I was initiated into Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity Inc. For those of you who don't know, some of our brothers include [former W&M football greats] Darren Sharper and Mike Tomlin. Now we have another organization on campus for service and achievement and leadership. I actually am the president-or polemarch-of this chapter.
What does the position involve?
A lot of community service. Some programs we have going on this year are roadside cleanup, canned food drives, holiday baskets, conversations on sexual assault prevention, so we have some good things going on. These happen both in the community and on campus. I am involved in organizing them.
What is one thing that somebody may not know about
I'm a big fan of romantic comedy movies. My favorite movie is "How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days".
What is your biggest pet peeve?
I can't stand it when someone is not on time. The bad thing about that is all my roommates constantly lose track of time.
What do you do for pregame preparation?
I usually go upstairs in the team room with a couple of guys and we watch an SEC game and just hang out a little bit listening to some music. We go downstairs into the training room facility, stretch out a little bit and get ready for the game.
Do you have a dream job?
Not at all. I'm a go-with-the-flow type guy so I feel like I just write my story as it goes.
Are there any other sports at William and Mary that you
No, I'm a football guy. That's all I'd play.
Favorite team tradition?
I think my favorite team tradition is the night before a game when all the guys come together. We express how we're feeling, get everyone motivated, and let everyone know that this is the game for this week and these are the things that we need to do. It opens the door for everyone to talk and builds a lot of camaraderie within the team. It brings us closer together and allows us to focus.
Who is going to have the most interesting job on the team
in 10 years and why?
I'd say Dante Cook is going to have the most interesting job in 10 years because he's never satisfied. He's always competing, always complaining about something. He doesn't seem like the type of guy that would stay in one spot; he'll be all around.
Do you have a favorite quote?
Yes, it's a Mohammed Ali quote: "I'm so fast, last night in the hotel I hit the switches and was in the bed before the lights went out."
Favorite type of food:
Marshmallow fruit loops-I eat them about four nights a week.
Favorite place you have visited or traveled to?
My favorite place was when I went to Jamaica my senior year of high school for a graduation trip. I went with some of my closest friends and we had a great time down there.
How are you going to change the world when you get out of
I'm just going to be me. I'm going to cater to some young kids and try to lead them in the right direction as a mentor. If I can change one person at a time, hopefully they can change someone else, and we'll change the world that way.
Is there anybody you would particularly like to have
dinner with at some point in your life?
I'd love to sit down and have dinner with Kevin Hart, the comedian. I think he's hilarious-his new movie Laugh at My Pain had me in tears so I know he would keep me entertained.
What is something on your bucket list and why?
I would love to travel around the world to see different places and learn different traditions. I love to eat so I am trying to try every food in every country.
What is the biggest obstacle that you have overcome in
I think the biggest obstacle for me was returning from the elbow injury my sophomore year. They said I would never get any farther than a 20 degree extension; I would never be able to straighten it all the way back out. Right now I'm at about 5 degrees from zero so I think that's the biggest obstacle that I have overcome just through my determination and it was a lot of pain stretching that thing out every day.