Tumwater Tight-End Prospect Looks for Home Away from Home

Tiana Cole

The University of Washington is just about an hour drive from Austin Terry’s small hometown of Tumwater, Washington. The idea of playing close to home appeals to Terry. This class of 2022 recruit is hoping for an offer from the Huskies.

“It would be great staying close to home; a lot of people here have watched me play since second grade." Terry said. "To pretty much be in the backyard of those people would be really cool, for sure."

Practices have started back up for the Tumwater Thunderbirds and 2019 WIAA 2A state champions with strict social distancing guidelines in effect. Coming off the win, Terry can't wait for his junior season. 

“I've started building off where we left off last year with our state win and everything, and it’s time to repeat,” he said.

Tumwater High has produced impressive tight-end talent such its receiving-yards record holder, Cade Otton, who currently plays for the Huskies. 

Mike Martin, Husky Maven/Sports Illustrated’s college football analyst, believes Terry is on pace to break Otton’s career record of 1,705 yards. He currently plays alongside Otton's younger brother, Ryan, who's also a touted tight-end prospect. 

"Terry took flight last season with the Thunderbirds and was an integral part of their championship season," Martin said. "There certainly will be a target on his back, but he has watched the Otton brothers and knows how to handle pressure."

Terry continues to form relationships with recruiting coaches as he works through the process. Terry had plans to visit the University of Tennessee and Nebraska, but they were  postponed. His top priority as he navigates his options is to find someplace that is familiar.

“It doesn't matter where the physical location as long as it just feels like home,” said Terry.

Ranked as one of top 20 recruits in Washington for the class of 2022, Terry is trying to further develop his skills and help his teammates do the same this season. He's driven to succeed.

“I think that's a huge motivation for me to be a competitor and everything I do,” he said.

Terry has gained leadership skills all along in his time at Tumwater, but he views  the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic as an opportunity to build the talent on the team and to grow deeper bonds.

“You know, it's time to help them out, especially in this situation at Tumwater right now," he said. "We have some younger tight ends and I'm excited to see where they're at once me and Ryan leave.” 

Washington is often referred to as Tight End-U because of how many of its tight ends have made it to the NFL, Martin said.  

"Are we witnessing the emergence of TE-HS?" the analyst asked. "That remains to be seen, but they are headed in that direction."

Terry has not yet received an offer from Washington but he's hopeful one will come his way.

Meantime, Terry is working to be the best player he can be, something instilled in him by his dad, a former football coach.

“I definitely wouldn't be where I'm at without him coaching me for those first couple years," Terry said. "He always pushed to keep working on my craft, just to get better as a person, as a player and everything else in life.”

Comments (4)
No. 1-2
SI Mike Martin
SI Mike Martin

It's looking like Tumwater could become TE-HS. I think they can become a TE feeder to UW. I just hope that Paopao doesn't steal too many.


These Tumwater kids are being coached by one of the best in the state in Bill Beattie. Sid Otton was going to be TOUGH to replace but Tumwater did EXCELLENT in bringing in ex Olympia Head Coach and ex-Tumwater Football player, Coach Beattie.