| FTBL Terrence Cody


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I had heard the man can dunk a basketball, but there was a 'blurb in "Sporting News Today" this morning quoting Antoine Caldwell as saying that when he first saw TC, he was doing 360s dunking a basketball. That is some kind of athlete to get almost 400 pounds high enough in the air to dunk.

Have a field day, Code Man!


Scholarship Club

Riverdale grad thrills at Alabama
Huge defensive tackle Cody earns starting position

By Craig Handel • chandel@news-press.com • August 29, 2008

It's early, but Riverdale High School graduate Terrence Cody is already making a name for himself around Tuscaloosa.

A 6-foot-5, 365-pound defensive tackle who can dunk a basketball and send players flying on fumble drills has not one, but two nicknames. There are a number of videos and photos of him on the Internet. Message boards light up when he's the subject. Fans ask him for autographs after practice.

And he hasn't even played in a game. That will happen Saturday night when the No. 24-ranked Crimson Tide will play No. 9 Clemson in Atlanta.

Earlier this week, Alabama coach Nick Saban said Cody would start against the Tigers. For Cody, it's a big surprise to make such an early impression.

"I didn't think I'd get up there that fast," he said. "I was like third on the depth chart, then it was like a couple of days later, I was with the ones."

He's been called Mt. Cody and Zip Code Cody, referring to his size.

He's also been portrayed bigger than life on Alabama fan forums. One person altered a picture that was taken by a photographer from The News-Press of Cody diving into a stream on a high school trip to West Virginia. In the altered version, he's a pro wrestler, flying off the ropes and onto his foe.

His teammates have added to his mythical status.

"We joke around, but the first time I saw him was on a basketball court, dunking and doing 360s," senior center and co-captain Antoine Caldwell said. "Incredible athlete."

Junior defensive end Brandon Deaderick said, "It's kind of scary being that big and being able to move like that."

Junior left guard Mike Johnson simply said, "Man, that guy's big."

As Cody hears, sees and reads those comments, he's amazed.

"It's crazy," he said. "They love us, they really love us. I'm in the news, there's a couple of articles on me. I come out of the building after a shower and I'll sign four, five autographs.

"Someone told me about (the wrestling picture) and when I saw it, I just started laughing."
Early potential

East Lee County High football coach Scott Jones saw Cody's talent - and size - early when he was the coach at Riverdale.

"When he was a freshman, I brought him and his mom in," said Jones, who coached NFL players Earnest Graham and Greg Spires during a stint at Mariner High. "I said, 'In eight years, your son can make a million dollars.' I knew he had the talent."

Jones remembers the size of Cody's hands.

"He can hold a gallon of milk upside down like we do a quart bottle."

Jones also recalls the size of Cody's prom suit being the same as Cody's number at Alabama - 62.

"I wore a 52 or 54," said the 6-foot-3 Jones. "And he made me look like a midget."

As he battled academic issues, Cody's talents weren't seen until his senior season at Riverdale.

"It's too bad you don't have film of the North Fort Myers game," Jones said. "He was triple-teamed and he still threw down (current West Virginia star) Noel Devine twice. He got him by the neck and threw him down. That was 6-foot-3 versus 5-foot-7, plus an extra 200 pounds. Noel was on the sidelines throwing up after that."

Cody went to Mississippi Gulf Coast College, where he helped the team to a 12-0 record and a tie for the junior college national championship last season. He was a big reason why the Bulldogs allowed just 83 yards rushing per game. He also played fullback and had a couple of touchdowns.

On June 1, Cody arrived in Alabama, where he took part in the school's strength and conditioning program. He's cut his weight from 395 to 365 and said he feels quicker and has better endurance.

He admitted that he's been far from perfect in practices.

"I took a while to learn the plays," Cody said. "I kept messing up. I'd either go the wrong way or didn't go into the gap I was supposed to."

But he said Saban - the reason he went to Alabama - has been encouraging.

"He's a great coach," Cody said. "He talks to me a lot, mostly about my weight. He asks how I'm doing. He pushes me, makes me work harder. Yeah, it's good."

Cody is looking forward to facing the Tigers, who feature the rushing combination of C.J. Spiller and James Davis, as well as other NFL-quality weapons.

"It's a really good game to show how good we are," Cody said. "And how much potential we've got on the team. We're a good team."

Jones is thinking about going to Saturday's game. He went to school with Clemson coach Tommy Bowden, but said that Bowden hasn't said much about Jones' former player.

"They probably haven't blocked anybody that big," Jones said. "If their offensive line is shaky, they're in trouble."

- Chris Walsh of the Tuscaloosa (Ala.) News contributed to this report.

"They probably haven't blocked anybody that big," Jones said. "If their offensive line is shaky, they're in trouble."

Awesome quote!!!
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