Maryland football has decided how it plans to memorialize the life of Jordan McNair.
At Big Ten Media Days, head coach DJ Durkin, currently on leave, announced a player committee would decide how to honor their fallen teammate. On Monday, offensive linemen Ellis McKennie and Johnny Jordan told a group of reporters how the team plans to keep McNair's memories alive.
Maryland football will announce how the team will memorialize Jordan McNair this season. https://t.co/tQvek8RBIG— Testudo Times (@testudotimes) August 20, 2018
McKennie said the team will wear No. 79—McNair’s number—decals on their helmets every game of the season and already have moments of silence planned for the season opener against Texas and when Temple comes to College Park. McKennie also announced the creation of a Jordan McNair scholarship that will be given to one Maryland player a year.
“This season Jordan’s spirit will be living within each and every one of us,” McKennie said. “Every play we make, every snap we take will be in Jordan’s honor.”
Jordan then announced that no player will wear the No. 79 until after McNair would have graduated in 2020. McNair will also be honored on senior day that season with the rest of his class. On top of that, McNair’s locker will be encased in glass in Gossett Team House, and will move over to Cole Field House with the rest of the team. The offensive line room in Cole will also be in Jordan McNair’s name.
McNair collapsed at the first organized team workout of the summer on May 29, and died two weeks later on June 13. Reports of that fatal workout and the treatment McNair didn’t receive have led to multiple staffers being put on leave, including Durkin and head trainer Wes Robinson, and the school has parted ways with strength and conditioning coach Rick Court. A number of other jobs are also in jeopardy.
“We come here as University of Maryland football players to change the conversation,” McKennie said. “It’s time to get back to what is important, and that is honoring our fallen friend, brother and teammate. The moment that we stop saying his name, the moment that we begin to forget, his legacy begins to fade. We plan to have his legacy live on forever, we plan to never forget.”