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Shawne Merriman coat drive to be held before Maryland football's game against Michigan State

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Before Saturday night's game, the former Terp will hold his annual coat drive

Former Maryland defender Shawne Merriman will hold his annual coat drive at Byrd Stadium on Saturday.
Former Maryland defender Shawne Merriman will hold his annual coat drive at Byrd Stadium on Saturday.
Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland athletic department will team up with former Terps defender Shawne Merriman on Saturday for his foundation's annual coat drive to benefit disadvantaged groups in the Washington, Maryland and Virginia area.

For the 90 minutes immediately before the game's 8 p.m. kickoff and running through the first quarter, Merriman and current Maryland personnel will be on hand to collect wintry clothes like coats, jackets, hats and scarves. The drive will be located at the south gate of Byrd Stadium.

"I started this coat drive in Maryland because I knew what it was like to grow up in the harsh winters without enough money to buy proper cold weather attire," Merriman said in an athletic department release. "I always told myself that when I was in a position to help others who are less fortunate and can't afford jackets or coats, then I would do everything I could to help."

Merriman started the event in his sophomore year at the university, and this will be the 12th year of collections. Merriman and his Lights On Foundation have brought in more than 22,000 items in the drive's history, Maryland said.

Temperatures are expected to be below 40 degrees for Saturday's game, making the event's timing particularly apt.

Merriman could also be in attendance to see current defensive end Andre Monroe pass him for sole possession of second place on the Terps' all-time sack list on Saturday night, behind leader Mike Corvino. Monroe tied Merriman with his 22nd career sack on Nov. 1 and needs just 2.5 more sacks to take the school's all-time mark.