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Texas A&M Football Recruiting

Trials & tribulations: Timpson celebrates Terry Bussey signing with A&M

February 7, 2024
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TIMPSON, Texas — All signs seemed to indicate Quantarius Bussey would accept a football scholarship offer from Texas A&M on Wednesday morning.

Then Penny McAuley, the business teacher at Timpson High School, showed up for the signing ceremony in a bright purple sweater.

That might have caused a measure of panic for old-time Aggies, who may have had Harvey Williams flashbacks. Even more traumatic, the Aggies earlier had four commits from this class head to Baton Rouge.

Not to worry. A&M coach Mike Elko plugged that leak.

Quantarious — Terry, as he’s better known — wore a grey jacket as he sat at the table beside his sister, Shykuirra, and infant nephew, Coleson Bennett. He spoke for just a little more than 10 seconds before unzipping the jacket to reveal a black polo with a Texas A&M football helmet logo.

It was a rather understated announcement and modest ceremony by today’s standards.

But that’s typical Terry Bussey‍.

He likes to keep things lowkey. Well, off the football field anyway.

He can because seemingly everyone else in this tiny East Texas town is quick to sing his praises.

TexAgs
On the gridiron, Bussey ranks No. 3 on the TexAgs Top 100 for 2024 recruits coming out of the Lone Star State.

Even Mrs. McAuley.

“Academics is a priority for him just as much as his athletic abilities,” she said.

It’s true. He ranks in the academic top 10 of his class. He’ll graduate with an associate's degree. He’ll already have 60 college hours completed.

“He’s so gifted,” Mrs. McAuley said. “He walks down the hall, and he doesn’t stand out. He’s just one of the guys. And when he gets off that field, he’s just Terry. And he always has a smile. You just can’t help but love that kid.”

It’s easy to love a kid who, in some ways, puts your town on the map. Or at least back on the map.

Previously, Timpson has only been known as one of the train stops mentioned in an old Tex Ritter country song “Tenaha, Timpson, Bobo and Blair.”

Now, it’s known as the hometown of Terry Bussey, the five-star football prospect, who made all-state as a freshman and led the Bears to the Class 2A, Division I state championship as a senior.

He passed for 2,691 yards, rushed for 1,585 yards, accounted for 60 touchdowns, made 85 tackles and intercepted seven passes as a senior. He did that despite missing all of three games and most of a fourth while recovering from knee surgery.

But in that fourth game — a come-from-behind victory over perennial East Texas powerhouse Daingerfield — Bussey showed he could do a lot with a little.

He was on the field at receiver on the final drive. He was meant to be a decoy to keep the Daingerfield defense occupied.

But when Timpson's quarterback was felled by leg cramps, Bussey was back under center.

“He came in with 56 seconds left to play quarterback,” said Timpson High School principal Jerrod Campbell, who is also Terry’s guardian. “Four plays later, he walks into the end zone for a win. People were saying, ‘The legend of Terry Bussey continues.’”

“It’s been really neat throughout all his athletic stuff — especially since he kind of blew up on the national scene — everybody wants to talk with him and take pictures with him. I’m talking you’re waiting 30 minutes to an hour. He sits there and does it with a smile and enjoys it. He says he remembers being a kid and looking up to those guys. He wants to make sure everybody gets their time. I guess that’s one of the coolest things about him.”
- Timpson principal Jerrod Campbell

There are so many layers to the legend. Bussey hurt his knee during the fifth game of his junior year. He didn’t miss a game.

He then starred in basketball. Then in track & field. Indeed, Bussey was so dominant that he qualified for the state track meet in five events.

He can do anything. Well … almost.

“It’s hard to play golf,” Bussey said. “But I’ll pick it up eventually.”

Last spring, Bussey soared more than 23 feet in the long jump. He went 46 feet in the triple jump. He did that without knowing he had a torn meniscus in his left knee.

Just days before the state track meet, his knee finally gave way. He had surgery and was unable to compete in sports until he came on to save the day against Daingerfield.

Things like that made Bussey a local legend. It’s not unusual for Timpson to have to hold buses for Bussey. Drivers patiently wait while he poses for pictures and signs autographs.

“It’s been really neat throughout all his athletic stuff — especially since he kind of blew up on the national scene — everybody wants to talk with him and take pictures with him,” Campbell said. “I’m talking you’re waiting 30 minutes to an hour. He sits there and does it with a smile and enjoys it.

“He says he remembers being a kid and looking up to those guys. He wants to make sure everybody gets their time. I guess that’s one of the coolest things about him.”

Bussey’s story isn’t all championships and glory, though. He has also experienced trials and tragedy.

His mother, Nenette, passed away when he was 14. His older sister, Tootie, died when he was 15.

That’s when he went to live with the Campbell family. Jerrod became his guardian and advisor. The whole town of Timpson seemed to take Terry under its wing.

They helped him overcome tragedy. He remained steadfast in his Faith. The familiar smile was only temporarily replaced by tears. It eventually returned to its full glory.

“I was raised the right way around a lot of great people. A lot of great love,” Bussey said. “Just keeping God as the centerpiece.

“One old man always told me no matter how hard you’ve got it, somebody beside you has it even harder.

“Don’t look at you and say, ‘Oh me.’ There’s somebody next to you that’s got it way worse than you. You’ve just got to keep on pushing.”

“A lot of people said that was just a dream, but she always believed it. She kept me motivated to play sports and do my best in school. I know she’d be very proud of me.”
- Texas A&M signee Terry Bussey

Campbell was that old man.

Still, would anyone have been surprised if his sadness had turned to anger? Well, yes. His sister, Shykuirra, would.

“My mom and grandma always told us to keep God first, and He’ll get you through trials and tribulations,” she said. “He’s just a good kid. He has a heart of gold. He keeps God first, no matter what. That’s a big part of it.”

So on Wednesday morning, not only did Shykuirra and Campbell celebrate Terry, but so did Timpson.

They celebrated the accomplishments of their star. Their friend. Their favorite son.

And maybe, without knowing it, they celebrated a young man who has overcome pain that most won’t experience until much later in life.

Had Nennette been there, she would’ve led the celebration.

“She would be amazed and proud of me,” Bussey said. “We talked about this when I was little. A lot of people said that was just a dream, but she always believed it. She kept me motivated to play sports and do my best in school. I know she’d be very proud of me.”

Discussion from...

Trials & tribulations: Timpson celebrates Terry Bussey signing with A&M

13,129 Views | 16 Replies | Last: 20 days ago by sharpdressedman
DTuba
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Love what small towns can do.
Action86
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Caesar4
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BigJim49 AustinNowDallas
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SA68AG
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AG
Great write up, OB !
Fanatic15...Drs2B!
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What a wonderful story.

This young man is so much more than total yards gained and touchdowns scored and all of those things.

Well done, Olin.
aggie090
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AG
What an incredible young man!
merch
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Can he already be my favorite player even if he hasn't played a down?

Never questioned him keeping his commitment.
Nothing looks more foolish than tradition to those who have none.
TAM85
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LB12Diamond
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AG
Mr. Texas football had to go to the best university in Texas of course!
agwin12
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TomB
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Sterling82
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Great article about a great athlete and what must be a very good young man. I hope his success story continues.
AGDAD14
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I know the Refugio Bobcat fans think highly of this young man and wish him the very best!
lagoag
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Wow, I didn't realize what this young man has endured. Thanks for sharing OB. Terry just became my favorite person, not because of football but the adversity he has overcome.
sharpdressedman
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His story is equally amazing and wonderful. Very proud for him, and confident he will be an Aggie fan favorite.

Well done, OB!
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