The 2018 Maryland football team was faced with a hardship that no team ever dreams of going through. Having to overcome the pain of losing their teammate Jordan McNair, then taking the field in competition is an obstacle that no one understands until they face it themselves.
And former Maryland Terrapin Vernon Davis wants the team to know how proud he is of them.
Davis, a current tight end for the Washington Redskins, took to the Players' Tribune to write to the Maryland football team.
He called the touching letter, 'For Jordan'.
In the piece he wrote:
Ever since the final whistle of that truly incredible Week 1 victory over Texas, I’ve found myself thinking about you guys a lot — about what you all must be going through in dealing with the loss of your teammate Jordan McNair just three months ago, and how difficult everything must be. Eventually, over the past few weeks, I got to the point where I decided that I wanted to sit down and write something to the team.
There are a bunch of things I want to say here. But the most important one, by far, is just to let you all know that….
I couldn’t be more proud of you guys.
Davis continued, talking about their emotional victory over the Texas Longhorns:
Losing a teammate, a brother, the way that the Maryland football family lost Jordan this past summer was an unspeakably sad tragedy. I can only imagine the level of grief and heartache that each and every one of you has experienced. And after going through what you have, no one would’ve faulted you if you didn’t win a single game this year — at least not those of us who understand grief, and pain, and loss.
I mean, you could’ve lost 100 to nothing in that opening game at FedEx Field against the Longhorns on September 1 and … we would’ve understood.
But, well, that’s not what happened.
Instead, on that afternoon, even as you continued to hurt and mourn, you found in your sport the opportunity to create a positive, life-affirming moment.
At the same time, you also showed me, once again, just how special this university is to me. And why, after all these years, I still love Maryland with all my heart.
Playing three years with Maryland, Davis caught nine touchdowns with 1,371 yards. Because of his instant impact and averaging 16.5 yards per catch, he decided to forgo his senior season and head to the NFL. In 2006, he was drafted No. 6 overall by the San Francisco 49ers.
...you’ve all already shown anyone paying attention the strength and heart and will of this team. So I have no doubt that you’re going to bounce back and finish the season strong. And as you’re going about that journey, you all — each and every one of you — need to know that it’s not just me who is proud of you.
You guys are inspiring people worldwide — Terp alums, for sure, but also just people who know what you’re going through and realize the fortitude that it takes to keep moving forward in the face of it all.
We see you. We’re proud of you. And … we believe in you.
So just keep doing the best you can. Stay together. Play the game with love. And always, no matter what, keep Jordan in your heart.
Because I’m pretty sure he’s proud of you, too.
Once a Terp, always a Terp,
To read the 'For Jordan' letter in its entirety on the Players' Tribune, click here.
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