Enumclaw High School senior Terenn Houk has become accustomed to exercising certain patterns of behavior – working hard, doing unto others as you would have them do unto you and maintaining hope that life will one day provide opportunity.
Houk, who really doesn’t seem to have any enemies and has grown up in a warm, accepting Christian home, also is now a firm believer that good things will come to those who wait.
In his junior and senior campaigns as a glue-fingered wide receiver on the Hornet football squad, the 6 foot, 4 inch, 230-pound Houk played a huge role in EHS claiming a few victories.
But due to playing for a far-flung high school football program, Houk’s acclaim largely went unnoticed. College recruiters weren’t stumbling over one another, extending offers of full-ride scholarships.
Then, a couple of months ago, destiny rapped loudly on Houk’s door when, due to his ancestry, he was invited to the second annual Polynesian All-American Classic game at Cathedral High School in Los Angeles.
“During practices the week before the big game, people quickly were able to perceive me as the best receiver there,” said the humble but candid Houk.
“The players at practice, who were mostly big, well-known Samoan dudes, were already scheduled to ink letters of intent with renowned colleges and universities and they all wanted to know where I was from and what team I had chosen to play for,” Houk said.
Most had never heard of Enumclaw and all appeared stunned when Houk assured them he had received no collegiate interest.
That started to changed when Houk got to know quarterback Alex Kuresa from Hyrum, Utah.
“Alex told me that he was going to graduate from high school early, so he could go to Brigham Young University in the spring of 2011. During our several conversations he promised me that he would tell the coaches there and everyone he knew about me,” Houk said.
His California appearance seemed to open the floodgates and Houk suddenly was inundated by letters of interest from teams like Central Washington University, the University of Washington, UCLA and BYU. Coaches from those schools all were asking for Houk’s game films.
Among the flood of phone calls and letters was one from BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall, who loved Houk’s film and wanted the Enumclaw senior to visit Provo, Utah, and stroll around the campus with him.
“Coach Mendenhall said it was OK that I wasn’t LDS and that it would be great if I could get my weight up to about 250 or 260 pounds through working out in the weight room, just kinda fill out my tall frame,” Houk said.
Houk knew a lot of the incoming BYU freshmen from the Polynesian Classic. Additionally, he had met former Skyline High (Issaquah) quarterback Jake Heaps, who was the starting QB for BYU last year as a freshman.
After much consideration, prayer and counseling from his family, Houk opted to make Provo his collegiate home.
“That’s when I knew that all things are possible when God is watching over you,” Houk concluded.