A Man on a Mission: Lessons Learned from a Saint

6 mins read

Terrance Copper is an American football wide receiver for the Kansas City Chiefs of the National Football League. His career started after being signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent. He then went on to play for the New Orleans Saints, Baltimore Ravens, and now, for the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Terrance didn’t always want to play football: 

“I like sports, but I grew up in a small town where all I saw were police officers,” Terrance said. “It wasn’t until my freshman year in high school that I felt like I wanted to give football a shot and see if I could make it to the NFL.”

Terrance was raised by a single mother and looked after by his grandmother. With no one at home to truly guide him to do well in his studies, Terrance’s grades suffered, making it difficult for universities to recruit him. Luckily, though, Terrance’s head coach motivated and pushed him to do well in his studies. 

When Terrance was a senior, he needed to get all As to get into college. Ultimately, he was able to get his GPA where it needed to be in order to get accepted into East Carolina University. 

Not long after he began his college career, his grandmother passed. In his grief, Terrance got into a fight right before drafting season. 

“Dallas Cowboys drafted me as a free agent, but I had to pay a 15K fine or go to jail for 45 days,” Terrance said. “My roots are in church… so, I started praying, and I made it into the practice squad for the Dallas Cowboys and was able to pay my fine on time,” said Terrance. 

After signing with the Cowboys, Terrance began questioning his faith. Simultaneously, he bounced between teams every couple of years… until landing a spot with the Kansas City Chiefs.

“Everything got turned around for me once I became more spiritually challenged… I was doing a bible study weekly, constantly feeding my soul,” Terrance said. 

It was in Kansas City that Terrance became more of a family man. He matured and grew not only as a father and husband, but also as a mentor to the other players on his team. When they voted him captain, “It meant everything,” he said. 

Terrance attributes his off-the-field success to giving back to the community:

“I give speeches everywhere. Being able to talk to the kids about things that I’ve done in life and just give my testimony… to me, that’s the biggest part of my career off-field,” he said. 

Terrance also went on to open a sports academy in North Carolina, where they support youth as young as age six on their journey to the pros, offering training in both football and basketball. It’s also a vehicle that allows Terrance to teach them the things he wishes he had known at their age. 

For example, “It doesn’t matter how gifted you are in sports if you lack education,” said Terrance. “It’s just as vital to the dream of going pro.” That’s why he strives to be a mentor for the community and teach the youth how important education is in keeping kids off the streets and focused on a more direct path to success. Because of his own experience in school, he easily relates to those he mentors, and he doesn’t sugarcoat his story. Instead, he consistently delivers the message that, without his education, he wouldn’t be who he is today. 

“I’ve been around a lot of guys who were amazing in sports, but were lost to the streets or because of their grades,” Terrance said. 

Terrance started podcasting and radio six years ago, broadcasting the pregame and post-game with his BLEAV in Saints podcast. He also co-hosts a second show with John Hendrix—The War Room podcast with Big E. Podcasting comes naturally to Terrance, since he knows the game of football so well. 

“Podcasting is like being around your friends and family and talking about sports,” he said. 

Terrance spends about five hours a week preparing for his shows and believes that good chemistry is an important factor their success. 

“With good chemistry,” he said, “listeners can feel the flow of conversation. And as the hosts, you know when to pick up each other’s thought processes. This creates an enjoyable listen.”

 

February 2022 Issue

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