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DJ Durkin talks upcoming Maryland football season, affinity for golf

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This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

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NCAA Football: Big Ten Media Days Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

The Maryland public relations department debuted its new podcast, Hear the Turtle, Wednesday. The inaugural show included special guests DJ Durkin and Scott Van Pelt.

Naturally, an array of topics were discussed, but eventually Durkin got to the upcoming season, why he’s excited and why fans should be excited to watch Terps football.

“Just how much it matters to [the players]—the little details. They’ve really bought into the culture we’re building here in the program and these guys have taken ownership of the team. The little things matter and they’ve bought into that. A lot of times teams don’t. A lot of times guys look at you, like, why does that matter? We’re not getting that at all really from our team. They’re working hard, working together, really putting good work out on the field that we’re making each other better in some of the competitive drills we do at the positions.”

One way Durkin plans to generate excitement for games and try to create Maryland football traditions by bringing back Terp Alley before home games.

“I just wanted to create something special, something different. I wanted our players to understand we’re starting anew. I didn’t want to go through the same routine with them. I want our fans to know that this is different; I want them to have a different experience. To me, from top to bottom, A-to-Z through our program, we’re trying to change the culture and build something really, really special. It was just a new tradition. Our players loved it. They grabbed ahold of it and it turned out really well and our fans did a great job of supporting it. I think it was great for our guys on gameday. You could see the look on their faces, there was a genuine excitement about it and appreciation for how it was with the band out there and the fans—hopefully that just keeps getting bigger and bigger. That’s the plan.”

If he weren’t a head football coach, Durkin may be out on the links coaching golf.

“A golf coach has it figured out,” Durkin said. “You’re on a golf course all day. ‘Nice putt.’ I don’t know.”

While he doesn’t sound like he’d be the greatest golf coach, his competitiveness and knack for finding the trait in others would surely give him a fighting chance.

“I love competitors. Jordan Spieth, the comeback he had a couple weeks ago [at The Open Championship], to me you can’t even measure how cool that was. To lose the lead and the way he finished those last four holes, or five holes, was just amazing. I love stuff like that. I love watching LeBron compete, Kobe when he was still at the peak of his game, guys like that. Tiger Woods when he was at the peak of his game. People who have that competitive fire about them, I love it. In any sport, whatever they’re doing, you can just tell that they have that they have something about them inside that they’re going to respond. When the best performances is needed, they’re going to be on their best.”

Check out the the whole podcast here.

In other news

We released another episode of our podcast yesterday. Matt and Thomas did their own preview of the season. You can catch that here.

Thomas wrote an awesome feature on the volleyball team’s rise to relevance in the Big Ten.

Both the men’s and women’s soccer teams officially kick off their seasons tonight. Joe and Daniel have you covered on those fronts.

Two top-15 players in the Class of 2018 have scheduled official visits to Maryland in September. That’s got to make Mark Turgeon happy, and it ought to make you happy too.

While Maryland football’s Class of 2018 is mostly full at this point, save for a few top targets, here are some names from the local high school football scene you should keep and eye on this season, courtesy of The Washington Post.