The Crump-lete package

Aaron Viner courier staff

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Terriun Crump’s high level of motivation has translated into remarkable success as a college football player and has given him a chance to follow his dreams.

The Western Illinois senior wide receiver said that his pattern of success was established when he was growing up in Chicago and can be attributed to his parents, Tarrance and Lashon Crump.

“My mom is a sergeant at the Cook County Jail, the second largest in the country,” Crump said, “and, my dad is a state trooper, so there’s been a lot of discipline in my household. They’ve always stuck behind me with everything I’ve done and supported me in every decision I’ve made.

“I wouldn’t be here without them. They’re my best friends.”

In the Leathernecks’ 27-7 loss to visiting South Dakota State last Saturday at Hanson Field, the swift, sure-handed senior hauled in 5 passes for 28 yards, a touchdown and surpassed the 2,000-yard plateau for his career. Crump now has 11 career touchdown catches, tying him for 10th all-time at Western. His 131 career pass receptions ranks him fifth in program history.

Crump, a Preseason All-Missouri Valley Football Conference selection, has earned honorable mention recognition twice this season by the College Football Performance Awards.

In addition to the inspiration he has received from his parents, Crump also has a two-year-old daughter, Victoria, who has greatly impacted his life.

“She’s my little star,” Crump said. “She’s my biggest motivation. I just think about her, and I try to work extremely hard. I want the best life for her … and (with) me getting a free education here and, hopefully, being able to play football, I do it all for her.

“And with all the discipline (I’m) being taught from football and the leadership, (I’m) trying to raise her to be a great woman one day.”

Following the season, Crump will attempt to pursue his dream of getting an opportunity to play in the NFL.

“I feel that most everyone who plays football, it’s their dream,” Crump said of playing pro football. “Ever since you are a young boy, you want to play football forever. Whether it’s in the NFL or wherever, when you love the game with the passion I do, I want to play the game forever, and if I have the opportunity to do that, I’m going to take full advantage of it.”

If the NFL doesn’t pan out, Crump said he wants to follow in his parents’ footsteps and pursue a career in law enforcement. “I want be a DEA agent or FBI,” Crump said, “because my Dad is in the state police, so law enforcement is in my blood.”

Crump added that while he doesn’t necessarily see himself patrolling the sidelines someday, he is eager to give something back to the game he loves.

“I’ve always said I wouldn’t want to coach, but I think that I would like to mentor and try to give back to the community,” Crump said. “Teach younger guys everything I know about the game. Because I love it so much, I can’t see myself not being a part of it.”

Crump said that despite the accolades he has received and the awards he has won, those are not the types of things he focuses on.

“I’m extremely humbled by the whole experience,” said Crump, who has been ranked among the top receivers in the nation all season and is currently No. 16 in the Football Championship Subdivision in average receiving yards per game with 88.2. “I put in a lot of work in the offseason, and in practice, I’ve worked very hard to be the best I can be.

“As far as being a star, I couldn’t care less. I’m all about winning and trying to be the best I can be.”

Western head coach Mark Hendrickson has seen how Crump’s work ethic impacts how he plays the game. “Terriun is very passionate about Leatherneck football,” Hendrickson said. “He definitely gives his all on every snap.”

Crump said that it took him some time to grasp just how hard he would need to work to be successful in football, but in college, that all changed.

“My dad always told me that if you don’t work, you won’t get anything, and in high school, I didn’t really listen to that,” Crump said. “It didn’t hit me until I got to college. I was smaller than everyone, and I wasn’t as good as I thought I was. I went to (the College of DuPage) and then got a scholarship (at Western), and I continued to work; and, I’ve had a pretty good career here.”

Crump holds the Western record for longest reception in a playoff game, an 83-yard catch in the Leathernecks’ 17-10 win against Coastal Carolina last Nov. 27, and is tied for the most 100-yard receiving games in Leatherneck history with eight.

Crump’s 6-foot-3, 220-pound frame has made things easier for junior quarterbacks Josh Hudson, Wil Lunt and Cody Reardon this season.

“Terriun allows you to put it up there more, and you feel like he’s going to come down with it,” Hudson said. “It’s the type of player that he is. It’s easy to find him on the field and easy to look for (him), especially in tough times or key situations.”

Crump’s build has also helped his playmaking ability. “With Terriun’s size and strength and foot speed,” Hendrickson said, “he has a chance to break through those tackles and take any catch to get a score.”

In a season that has not gone the way Hendrickson, Crump and his Leatherneck teammates would have hoped, perhaps the No. 1 highlight came in a game at Hanson Field on Oct. 1.

With Western and visiting Southern Illinois tied at 21-21 and less than a minute remaining in regulation time, Hudson directed a slant pass toward Crump at the near sideline. Salukis sophomore safety Boo Rodgers tried for the interception but succeeded only in tipping the ball right into Crump’s waiting arms. With the Homecoming crowd of 14,168 rising to its feet, and with time seeming to stand still, Crump took off down the sideline and didn’t stop until he had reached the end zone.

Twenty-six seconds later, Western was able to celebrate a 27-21 victory, a win that could turn out to be the last one of Crump’s college career. The Leathernecks (2-8, 1-6) will play host to the nation’s No. 5-ranked team, North Dakota State (9-1, 6-1), on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the regular-season finale for both squads.

Crump said that his favorite memory as a Leatherneck was being able to go to the playoffs in 2010.

“The whole playoff experience last year was amazing,” Crump said. “Just the whole playoff experience. I had never played in the playoffs in my life, and being able to travel with those guys last year after having a good season and doing it for (quarterback) Matt Barr and (linebacker) Kyle Glazier and (wide receiver) Lito (Senatus). It was just a great experience. It’s one I will never forget.”

When asked how he became a wide receiver in the first place, Crump laughed and said, “They tried to put me at quarterback, and that didn’t work. I wasn’t made for that. I think Randy Moss really inspired me to play wide receiver. That’s when I started to look into football, around fifth grade. I saw (Moss) play and was amazed by the catches he would make.”

Moss, who went on to star for the Minnesota Vikings and New England Patriots in the NFL, achieved college football success at a college similar in size to Western. While playing for Marshall University (in Huntington, W.V.) in 1996, Moss set a record that still stands: most receiving yards gained by a freshman in a season, 1,709 (via 78 catches).

While Moss inspired Crump to become a wide receiver, the Leathernecks senior said there is another NFL player who reminds him more of himself.

“Brandon Marshall,” Crump said quickly of the Miami Dolphins receiver, a two-time Pro Bowl pick. “He’s a very big receiver who is extremely talented. When he gets the ball in his hands, he’s gets angry; and, that’s what I like about him.

“I’ve watched a lot of great receivers: the Larry Fitzgeralds, the Andre Johnsons, and I just try to adapt different things from their games. I have a lot of anger when I play, and I just try to dominate.”

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