Jordan McNair is gone, but he’s far from forgotten.
The 19-year-old Maryland offensive lineman collapsed during a football workout in late May and died two weeks later because of what the family called heatstroke. The football program had previously announced that they would honor McNair’s memory by wearing a No. 79 decal on their helmets throughout the 2018 season.
As that season kicked off Saturday afternoon, the Terrapins further honored their fallen teammate as, on their first play from scrimmage in the opener against Texas, they lined up in a 10-man formation with the right guard spot left vacant. The Terps then allowed the play clock to run out, drawing a flag for delay of game.
Showing their class, the Longhorns declined to take the penalty and the five-yard walk-off it would’ve brought.
Head coach D.J. Durkin, two members of the training staff and head strength & conditioning coach Rick Court were placed on administrative leave in early August after a bombshell report alleged mishandling of McNair’s medical event that preceded his death as well as a toxic culture within the football program. Court’s resignation was announced a short time later, while Durkin and the training staff members remain on leave.
Offensive coordinator Matt Canada is serving as interim head coach until Durkin’s fate is decided. That decision is expected at some point in the next couple of weeks or so.