The Wolverine

September 2017

The Wolverine: Covering University of Michigan Football and Sports

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78 THE WOLVERINE SEPTEMBER 2017 BY JOHN BORTON T errence Quinn remem- bers telling his father about his dream when he was only 8 years old: he planned to grow up and play for Bo Schembechler. Quinn's dad, a former Big Ten champion wrestler at Michigan, took it in stride, with the nod and grin of a loving parent. Quinn also recalls the mo- ment that dream took its first stiff-arm to the facemask, de- livered by an assistant coach his junior year at Flint North- western High. "He asked me, 'Quinn, what do you want to do for college?'" Quinn reminisced. "This was my big opportunity to tell him Michigan, this guy who I looked up to. I said, 'Coach, I've always dreamed of playing football for Michi- gan. I think that's what I want to do.' "He threw his head back and laughed. He said, 'Well, I don't think that will really happen. I don't think that will ever happen. Maybe you should think about something else.'" T h e f u t u r e Wo l v e r i n e didn't think about something else. He thought about working harder, getting better and taking his chances. "I grew up in a household where my mom and dad beat into my head, 'You can do anything. Don't let them tell you what you can't do,'" he re- called. "I got over what he said pretty quickly and continued to work hard and go after the dream." Six years later, Quinn sat with his teammates in a jubilant locker room in Pasadena, Calif., listening to head coach Lloyd Carr proclaim: "You have left a wonderful legacy for ev- ery team that ever follows you. You just won the national championship." Nothing about that road came eas- ily, for someone who arrived at Mich- igan without fanfare or scholarship. For Quinn, now an Ann Arbor-based attorney, that makes the memories even sweeter. He remembers earning an award at Michigan's football camp the sum- mer prior to his senior season, but receiving no interest thereafter. Ac- cepted academically to Michigan in December 1993, he immediately placed a call to U-M staffer T.J. Weist, leaving a message asking how he could try out for the team. "I was going to call him every day until he called me back — I knew that much," Quinn said. "But he called that afternoon. He said, 'Terrence, I definitely remember you out of Flint Northwestern, you did a great job at the camp, you got a trophy. We would love to have you on the team. The only problem is, we don't have a scholarship for you.'" That didn't stop the fresh- man, who wound up being invited to fall camp. He's ac- tually writing a book about the trials and tribulations of being a walk-on, and it didn't take long for him to begin gathering material. "It is completely different, and that isn't a complaint, be- cause I'd do it all over again," he stressed. "But it's com- pletely different, across the board, than with a scholar- ship player. "Your margin of error is less than zero. You cannot make a mistake if you have any in- terest in ever getting a schol- arship or ever playing, ever continuing to play. "Charles Woodson is run- ning next to you, and he's tired — I'm talking about an actual experience, running through North Campus — so he just starts walking. I'm probably just as tired as him, because I caught up with him and passed him before he started walking. "But I can't stop. I can't bend over and take a breath. If they see that, then I'm re- ally just a walk-on. You have to work harder. You have to go all the time. You can't take a break. And you'd better not make a mistake." You'd better brace for some push- back when pushing standouts too hard, Quinn added. He remembers his freshman fall camp, brimming with excitement over the Michigan helmet, Schem- bechler Hall, lining up against All- American cornerback Ty Law. At the same time, Quinn insisted he wasn't there just to be along for the ride. He was a football player, with parents who couldn't afford to keep him at Michigan if he didn't earn a scholarship. The dynamic led to some interest- ing exchanges. "It was a hot day in camp, and Ty   WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Special Teamer Terrence Quinn Demonstrated The Power Of Perseverance Quinn walked on to the U-M football team in 1993, earned a schol- arship at the conclusion of his first season and became a special teams regular during his sophomore year. PHOTO COURTESY MICHIGAN ATHLETIC MEDIA RELATIONS

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