TU's Ja'Terian Douglas quietly makes an impact
BY MIKE BROWN World Sports Writer
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
9/21/11 at 3:59 AM
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Ja'Terian Douglas is quietly making his mark as a University of Tulsa running back.
"Quietly" is the operative word, because that's the way the sophomore from Arlington, Texas, goes about things.
"He is a quiet kid, but he's not shy," said James Stallings, his former offensive coordinator at Arlington Lamar High School, where Douglas was a two-time All-Stater.
"He wasn't flamboyant; he just went about his business," Stallings said. "He wasn't the kind of kid who needed to hear himself talk. He liked letting his actions do his talking on the field. That's one of the things about him I respected."
Douglas' actions spoke loudly against Oklahoma State last weekend. He rushed for a career-high 173 yards in the Hurricane's 59-33 loss to the seventh-ranked Cowboys.
His 80-yard TD run in the third quarter was one of the eight longest runs from scrimmage in school history. He added a 42-yard scoring run in the fourth quarter.
"It knew it was a big game and somebody in our running corps needed to step up," Douglas said. "I was that guy when I got my opportunity."
Douglas nearly quadrupled his season rushing total, from 63 to 236 yards. Head coach Bill Blankenship has been waiting for that kind of production from a guy who rushed for 3,904 yards and 53 TDs in his final two high school seasons.
"Ja'Terian, I think, surprised a lot of people that haven't seen him before, but he didn't surprise anyone on this coaching staff," Blankenship said.
"We've been talking about him being our home run hitter for a full year. He has the kind of speed that when he gets in the open, there are very few people that are going to catch him. He could play at the highest level," Blankenship said.
Several schools recruited Douglas, including OSU. But the Cowboys backed off after Douglas attended a camp in Stillwater with about 15 other potential running backs.
As Stallings explained, Douglas excelled in the nine or 10 drills he knew from high school, but fared less well in the drills he didn't know.
"He's a 'repetitions' kid. He isn't going to do as well on things that you throw at him and expect him to get the first day," Stallings said.
"For whatever reason, when push came to shove, OSU didn't offer him. I thought they made a mistake, and I told them about it at the time," he said. "He was class kid in my book. In my 19 years at Lamar High School, he was one of my very favorites."
In his bio in the TU media guide, Douglas says the words that describe him are "quiet, respectful and realistic."
He came by those qualities naturally, he said, from being raised by his grandparents.
"Being the only kid in the house, you tend to mature and act more like a grown up after a while. I look at it as a blessing that I had those people around me," he said.
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Original Print Headline: Douglas quietly making an impact
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TU sophomore running back Ja'Terian Douglas runs for a touchdown against OSU at Chapman Stadium. Douglas rushed for a career-high 173 yards in the Hurricane's 59-33 loss to the Cowboys. TOM GILBERT / Tulsa World
TU's Ja'Terian Douglas runs away from a Tulane defender during their Sept. 10 game in New Orleans. TOM GILBERT / Tulsa World