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New name, new role: the receiver formerly known as Tee

New name, new role: the receiver formerly known as Tee

New name, new role: the receiver formerly known as Tee
September 08
14:23 2016

Last season in a game against Western Kentucky University, North Texas quarterback DaMarcus Smith heaved a prayer to the end zone. Upon first glance, it looked as though it would fall incomplete.

Then, suddenly and unexpectedly, wide receiver Tee Goree took flight over a Hilltopper defender, and hauled in the pass for the score. It was the first touchdown catch of his career.

Now a sophomore, Goree is the team’s No. 1 receiver. He caught a career-high eight passes for 64 yards in the season opener against Southern Methodist University, and quickly became a go-to target.

Indeed, a lot has changed for Goree since that night in October almost one year ago, including his name. He now goes by his birth name, Terian, instead of his nickname, Tee.

But he doesn’t care what you call him

“I was just playing really,” Goree said of his name change. “[The sports information director] came in and said, ‘hey Tee.’ I said, ‘nah that ain’t my name,’ and he just changed it. It doesn’t matter. I’ve been Tee my whole life, I ain’t tripping. It doesn’t matter. It’s one of the two.”

The change in name is fitting for Goree, who has had to step into a leadership role. For the first game of the season against SMU, the Mean Green’s leading receiver from 2015, junior Turner Smiley, was suspended.

But Goree was not worried about having his number called.

“It’s not tough for me to step up and be that leader,” Goree said. “It’s the same person I was when I was in high school. Carlos [Harris] taught me a lot about making myself a great receiver. I appreciate him for being that mentor.”

Goree went to high school in Carthage, Texas, a small town tucked into the piney woods of the eastern Texas hill country. He became a 3-star recruit and a Dave Campbell’s All-Texas offensive first teamer, leading Carthage to a state title.

The quick and tall wide out caught the eye of plenty of college scouts. Before deciding on North Texas, Goree fielded offers from 10 other Football Bowl Subdivision schools. Lifelong friend and teammate, sophomore receiver O’Keeron Rutherford, was also offered by North Texas.

The two didn’t want to split after high school.

“That’s my brother, man,” Goree said. “We knew we were going to school wherever both of us got offered by. I like North Texas. I like adversity. We’re going to turn it around.”

Goree was tasked with being a leader on a revamped North Texas team that felt all the frustrations of a 1-11 campaign last year. They only won one game. Their head coach get fired, and the entire system was reworked in the offseason.

But the recreational sports management major was at the front of the pack to lead a relatively young and new wide receiver corps. New head coach Seth Littrell took notice, and Goree was named to the leadership council.

“I really like the things he’s doing,” Littrell said. “He’s worked hard. He had the most consistent fall camp. He’s not hesitant, he’s playing faster and he’s catching the football.”

However, Goree was not free of the frustrations felt from an anemic 2015 season. Because the team was almost exclusively losing, he could not buy into what the previous coaching staff was telling him, which affected his play.

Terian Goree, Mean Green sophomore wide receiver (3), leads the team into battle against the Southern Methodist Mustangs.

Terian Goree, Mean Green sophomore wide receiver (3), leads the team into battle against the Southern Methodist Mustangs. Katie Jenkins

Those struggles are gone, though. He feels like his game has grown night and day under Littrell and the new staff.

“Last year, I really didn’t have that much coaching,” Goree said. “I didn’t really trust the coaches, so I wasn’t doing the coaching. Now I trust the coaching, and what they’ve been doing. I’ve been getting a lot better.”

Goree has undergone a lot changes since last season. His name, his role, his coaches and even his quarterback. Gone is the quarterback carousel of Andrew McNulty, Josh Greer and DaMarcus Smith, and in is graduate Alec Morris.

Morris, an Alabama transfer, has connected with Goree both on and off the field. They connected on Saturday against SMU, and have bonded in the locker room, since the two are locker neighbors.

“I think not only can he, I think he is [leading them],” Morris said. “He’s a great play maker. He’s a guy you can throw it to and count on to make some plays for you.”

Despite all the changes, Goree has proven himself as both a capable leader and receiver.

Whether you call him Tee or Terian, Goree has shown that even as a sophomore, he is growing up quickly on the football field.

“I’m ready for the leadership role,” Goree said. “I feel like I’m going to step up to the plate. That’s what I got to do. That’s what I know to do, and that’s what these coaches are teaching me. I got to step up to the plate and be the leader of this receiving group.”

Featured Image: Terian Goree is a sophomore wide receiver for the Mean Green. Colin Mitchell

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Clay Massey

Clay Massey

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1 Comment

  1. oscarberry8
    oscarberry8 September 09, 16:51

    That’s my boy !! keep the good attitude and hard work ethic and success is what you’ll see.

    Reply to this comment

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