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Maryland Head Coach Mike Locksley Surprised Senior Walk-On Bruce Miller With A Scholarship In Front Of Everyone At The Ravens Game Last Night

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Really cool moment here for Bruce Miller and the Maryland football team at M&T Bank Stadium last night. This is a group of guys who have gone through a lot over the past year and change. The Jordan McNair tragedy is by far first and foremost, but the way the fallout was handled left the program in flux and aired out a ton of dirty laundry from those in charge at the University. It was a black eye for the program, and it was by no fault of the players. I admire the hell out of the way they battled their way to 5 wins (and beat the Sugar Bowl Champion Texas Longhorns AGAIN nbd) while playing in the toughest division in college football, even coming inches from beating Ohio State to secure a bowl bid. All of this while mourning the loss of a brother.

It’s hard not to root for these guys. What I love most is the way that they’ve stuck together, and it really shows in those videos. That’s authentic enthusiasm right there, and it’s thrilling to see the way they’ve taken to Mike Locksley. Locks is not at all the first coach to creatively give a walk-on a scholarship, and he definitely won’t be the last. But if you pay close attention to the way he does it, he mentions that the leadership group of the team picked Miller to come read a statement on behalf of the team. Sure, it’s just a means to an end to execute the surprise (which none of the players even knew about), but I think it’s important in that it reflects the way that Locksley is running the program. He respects his players and what they’ve gone through and respects the status of the leadership group, and in turn they’ve all bought into him and the culture he’s instilling in the program. You can tell that this is a family, and that this wasn’t just a big moment for Miller but a big moment for the group as a whole.

Having that type of culture is massive for a college football program internally, but it’s also important for that culture to be put on display publicly. Especially given a national narrative, fair or not, that Maryland may not be the best or safest place to send your son to play football. The best way to reverse that narrative is to put it on full display how much these guys care about one another and love being a part of the program. The trip to M&T for last night’s game was presented to them as a reward for their hard work in camp and to break up the monotony that comes with it. There were about a dozen of them sitting in the row right behind me in the first half, and they were fired up as hell to see one of their own, Darnell Savage, out there for the Packers. They were engaged, they were having a great time, they were thrilled to be there. Even got treated to that Lamar Jackson run right in our corner of the end zone. The fact that that has little to do with Terps football is neither here nor there, but there’s no denying it was hella sweet.

Anyway, genius move by Locksley to take care of a guy that the team clearly loves and respects, and do it on a big platform. Recruits are going to see that and the brotherhood that’s being cultivated and want to be a part of it. It’s a new chapter of Maryland football, and I’m fired tf up to see where it goes. It may not happen overnight, but something special is being built in College Park. Give these guys your support because they sure as hell deserve it. And most of all, congrats to Bruce Miller.