On Saturday, Maryland offensive linemen Ryan Doyle and Evan Mulrooney will have their senior day at Byrd Stadium, against Indiana. A week from then, they'll join the Terps for a season finale at Rutgers. And a few hours after that, their college football careers will be over.
College seniors don't always know exactly what comes next. Doyle and Mulrooney are no different.
"Losing weight," said Doyle, who's listed at 307 pounds.
"Ditto," said Mulrooney, who's listed at 300. "Losing weight and hanging out, man. Taking some time for myself."
They've earned it. With guard Andrew Zeller, Doyle and Mulrooney are elder statesmen on Maryland's offensive line, which has improved significantly to become a bright spot in this 2-8 season. The Terps are No. 77 nationally in sacks allowed per game (2.3) and No. 38 in rushing average (4.8 yards), after finishing 105th and 98th, respectively, in those categories last season. They're No. 14 in adjusted line yards, which tracks an offensive line's contributions in raw yardage terms.
Sitting around a table in Byrd Stadium's press box on Wednesday, they were asked if they've noticed the improvement.
"Take this one, Doyle," Mulrooney urged him.
"I always talk about the cohesion of the offensive line, and how everyone kind of reads off of each other, and the more confidence you have the guy next to you, then the better you can play," Doyle said. "I think that there is a really, really good level of cohesion at this point. Everyone feels confident in each other's abilities. You see young guys improving every day."
Doyle cited Brendan Moore and Sean Christie, young linemen starting to get practice repetitions with the first and second teams. Those players could join a couple of blue-chip holdovers to keep Maryland's line improving for a while.
"With the leaders they have, in Mike Dunn and Damian Prince, I think they're in very good hands. They'll do just fine."
Doyle and Mulrooney still have 120 minutes worth of football game left to play. When it's all over, they'll have wrapped up unique careers, begun under Randy Edsall and finished under interim coach Mike Locksley.
"Coach Edsall always stressed doing the little things right, whether it be technique on the field or doing certain things like showing up to class off the field, or just being respectful and all these things," he said. "Obviously, you're always taught to be respectful, but these little things that he always stressed on and harped on, that might seem menial to some. When you really take the time to think about those things and do those things and they become important to you, you become a more successful person, not just as a football player, but off the field – in the classroom, in the community, wherever it may be. And I think he did a great job in ingraining that in a lot of us."
Mulrooney said Locksley has carried that point on.
"That's an overarching theme with Coach Locksley as well. He always stresses the little things. You can do so many things right, but if you don't sweat the small stuff, then you make things really hard for yourself," he went on. "That's one thing that I've really learned in college. Just take the time to do the little things that you might not think are important, but in the long run, they become very important."