A.J. Terrell was raised in Atlanta and is proud to represent it with the Falcons. That's not just evident when he wears black, white and red on Sunday afternoons. It's clear every day, when he's an active member of the community that has helped him thrive.
By Scott Bair
ATLANTA – A.J. Terrell stood in the middle of Ben Hill park and surveyed the open field before him. The Falcons cornerback was both present while describing the area and somehow transported to a different time in this exact same place, reliving good memories forever seared into his mind.
He saw the park through younger eyes, as it looked to an 10-, 11-, 12-year old playing for the Metro Atlanta Youth Football League's Oomp Squad over a decade ago now.
"When I was a kid coming here, it used to be grass instead of turf," Terrell said. "Everything looked the same, though not as well developed as it is now. The game days used to be crazy. They used to have tons of fans, and people from all over used to come and watch us play games from morning to night.
"It was a sight to see."
Terrell was part of a great football generation from this portion of Atlanta, though he may be the best member of it. Hard work, discipline and a tight-knit, supportive family transformed that young kid into a Westlake High and Clemson star, then a first-round draft pick who has become one of the NFL's best at his position.