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December 16, 2012Stanford's receivers weren't the strength of its team this year, but senior wideout/punt returner Drew Terrell was unquestionably one of the most important players on the Cardinal roster. Not only was Terrell Stanford's second leading receiver and most productive wideout, but he was arguably the most reliable punt returner in the nation.
Terrell also happened to play his best in Stanford's most important game of the season. He caught a season-high four passes for a season-high 70 yards and an oh-so-important game-tying touchdown in the Card's Pac-12 title win over UCLA.
Cardinal Sports Report caught up with Terrell after a recent Stanford bowl practice to discuss his touchdown reception in the Pac-12 title game and skills as a punt returner.
Cardinal Sports Report: In the Pac-12 title game, where does the touchdown catch rank among the better moments in your football career?
Drew Terrell: It was great. It was really an exciting moment for not only myself but for this team and the University, to get that much closer to a Rose Bowl berth. It was big. The thing about plays like that is at the time you don't notice really how big they are until you go back and look at it at the end. So it worked out in our favor and it was good, it was a lot of fun.
CSR: I've seen the replay a few times and can't tell for certain - was that ball tipped a little bit? It looked like it might have changed direction a little bit at the end.
DT: Yeah, he actually got a finger on it at the end, a finger, two fingers, I don't know what it was, but it skimmed his hand a little bit. Fortunately Kevin (Hogan) was able to sneak it over him just enough for us to make a play.
CSR: What has this year been like for you, playing such a significant role on the team, bigger than it has been the last three seasons?
DT: It's been going well. It's just all about being patient and waiting for your opportunities and then when they come capitalizing on them. That's what I've been doing throughout my career, waiting for my opportunities. When they get here you have to make the most of them. You just have to be patient and control the things that you can control, and like I said, when those opportunities come, you can't let them pass up.
CSR: What makes you such a good punt returner? I've talked to people who say you're one of the best they've ever seen. Is it just something that kind of comes naturally to you?
DT: Definitely. A lot of it comes naturally. Returning punts and kicks is something that I've done since I started playing when I was eight years old. I think me being a baseball player when I was younger has a lot to do with that coordination and being able to see the ball, see the direction of the ball and being able to read it in the air, but it's something that I've always felt comes natural to me. It's something that's easy and like I said something that I've always done, and like I said, real natural.