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Seven Things We've Learned About Terry McLaurin


As players take their final breaks before training camp, we will take a look back at the new faces from this offseason and what we've learned about them - football and otherwise - so far.

Next up is third-round wide receiver Terry McLaurin:

1. He grew seven inches in a year.

When he joined the junior varsity football team as a freshman at Cathedral High School in Indianapolis, McLaurin stood 5-foot-4 and weighed no more than 125 pounds.

By sophomore year, he sprouted seven inches. He was called up to varsity during the playoffs that year and even caught a game-winning touchdown pass.

McLaurin attracted interest from college coaches during his junior season, earning an offer from his mother's alma mater, Purdue. Ohio State didn't show serious interest until later.

2. Urban Meyer originally denied McLaurin an offer.

McLaurin had his eyes on Ohio State when exploring college choices.

Then-assistant Buckeyes coach Kerry Coombs invited the eager prospect to an Ohio State camp, but his offers were limited at that point. At camp, he showed off his 4.4 speed but left the facility without an offer. Meyer told McLaurin his hands needed work before another camp two weeks later.

"That was kind of a gut punch," McLaurin told Buckeyextra in October of 2018.

The remark was enough motivation to punish his hands for the next two weeks. McLaurin said he caught around 200 passes per day, both from his family members and his high school quarterback.

"When he came back, boy, you could tell he worked on it," Meyer told Buckeyextra.

Shortly after the second camp, Meyer extended McLaurin a scholarship offer.

3. He was Indiana's Mr. Football.

McLaurin broke out his senior season of high school. He caught 58 passes for 953 yards and eight touchdowns while rushing for 744 yards and six touchdowns. He also returned two kicks for touchdowns.

His contributions helped Cathedral capture four straight state championships during his tenure. He was named Indiana's Mr. Football in 2013.

"It's a surreal feeling," McLaurin told The Indianapolis Star after receiving the award. "When you have this [No. 1] jersey on, you are part of elite company, and I don't take it for granted to represent Indiana, my school and my family."

4. He was a two-time captain at Ohio State.

During his four-year playing career at Ohio State, McLaurin won three Big Ten championships, four bowl games and defeated Big Ten rival Michigan in all four of their meetings.

McLaurin ranks in the top-15 all-time in Ohio State history for several receiving accolades. He finished sixth in single-season touchdowns (11) and career scores (19), 12th in single-season yards per catch (20.0 in 2018) and 13th in career yards per catch (16.7).

"He always knew what to say when it needs to be said, and that's very important with being a leader," Redskins quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who played with McLaurin at Ohio State, told 247Sports in May. "Terry did a great job, he was respected in the locker room, there for five years, put all the work in, and when Terry spoke, you listened. I have great admiration for him ... and to have him here in D.C., I know it will be great for me and my career and his as well."

5. He was the No. 1 special teams player on the Redskins' board.

Drafting McLaurin not only gave the Redskins a capable wide receiver, but they also got the No. 1 special teams player on their 2019 draft board.

"We were obviously looking to add to our receiving corps a little bit, and he gives us a nice blend with a combination of speed and toughness," Redskins coach Jay Gruden said after the team drafted McLaurin on April 26. "He's actually our special teams No. 1 player on the board as far as what he does in that unit – covering kicks, flyer on punt.

6. He's reunited with former teammate Dwayne Haskins.

With the 15th-overall pick in the 2019 NFL Draft, the Redskins selected Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins. Later in the third round, the team selected McLaurin, one of Haskins' best college connections.

Prior to the draft, Haskins wanted the team that selected him to also pick one of his college wide receivers. Washington granted that wish by adding McLaurin.

"It's just great to have somebody that you're comfortable with," Haskins said of McLaurin during rookie minicamp in May. "To have him on the same team as me is a blessing."

7. McLaurin has earned widespread praise from the Redskins coaching staff.

As soon as he arrived for rookie minicamp in May, McLaurin began impressing coaches in the receiving game and during special team drills.

"Terry is doing an excellent job," Gruden said after the first day of minicamp. "He can do everything. He can block. He can run the vertical routes. He can run the short intermediate routes. He ran an unbelievable double move today. I have just been impressed with the total package of Terry, not just his speed, but his toughness, his attention to detail. He has the ability to finish plays, to block, line up correctly. He has just been outstanding in all phases."

Meanwhile, first-year special teams coordinator Nate Kaczor has raved about McLaurin, too. Kaczor said the three most-important traits when playing special teams are being smart, tough and fast, and he added that McLaurin possesses all of those qualities.

"With a player like that you almost have to save him from himself because he'll just keep going and going and going and he only has one speed. So really with a player like that, that works so hard and is so blue collar and talented, you just have to really pace him and only use him where needed. When he's on the learning curve right now he's probably getting a little more work than he normally will because he's getting obviously a good amount of reps on offense as well. But really with a player like that you've just got to make sure they're not overdoing it because they're doing anything you ask, any you want to do it. They're just special people, and he's certainly one of those."

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