Army’s Terry Baggett, finalist for the 2014 William V. Campbell Award, isn’t afraid of a challenge. At Whitney Young High School in Chicago, he played three positions on offense and a defensive position for the football team despite the injury concerns because of the amount of wear and tear. He also earned two varsity letters in basketball – one of the premier basketball schools in the city, and alma mater to Michael Jordan’s son, Marcus.
His fearlessness netted the confidence of his teammates who voted him captain three times in football and twice in basketball.
Baggett had a good share of offers coming out of high school but to him only one place could really offer the type of challenge he was looking for. “I decided to go to Westpoint because I knew it was the type of place that could mold me into the type of man and the type of student I wanted to be,” Baggett said. “It has turned out even better than I had thought.”
While the Army football team is known for its rushing attack, the academy is best known for producing leaders. According to teammate Trenton Turrentine, Baggett exemplifies both aspects.
“He leads by examples and is vocal whenever someone is messing up,” Turrentine said. “He’s also an incredibly hard-nosed runner, but he is amazing at jump-cutting. He’s one of the few people I’ve seen be able to cut on a 90 degree angle with speed and quickness.”
Last season, Baggett broke the Army single game rushing record against Eastern Michigan with 304 rushing yards. In the 50-25 point victory, he had rushes of 64 and 96 yards. He also garnered a monstrous 16.9 yards per rush.
Baggett said he felt honored to be mentioned with the great Army running backs that preceded him.
“To be mentioned with some of the great running backs who have come from this academy is truly a great honor. Westpoint has produced three Heisman Trophy winners.” He said.
Army coach Jeff Monken said Baggett is one of the most well-rounded young men he has encountered.
“He is so professional and that is not usually something you say about a 22-year old man,” Monken said. “He is well respected by his teammates and cadets, which doesn’t always translate into one another.”
Although his rushing yards have declined from more than 1,100 last season to 339 yards in Monken’s new system, Baggett has the highest average per carry on the team (7.9) and Monken noted his selflessness.
“Terry was one of the first guys I met when I came here,” he said. “He hasn’t complained or moaned about what we do here. He just cares about doing what is best for the team. There is no better representative for the US military than that young man. He is a great example for this team and this academy.