Sunday mailbag

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LaMont Jordan ran for 4,147 yards during his career at Maryland (a school record), including 306 on one magical day in 1999 against Virginia (also a school record). Well, it was magical in an individual way, since Maryland somehow lost that game.

In the eight seasons since Jordan’s college career ended (has it really been that long?), no Terp has managed more yards rushing than Lance Ball’s 2,487. That isn’t bad; it ranks fourth in school history.

This brings us to this question from loyal reader Slatter:

Will any Maryland tailback in the foreseeable future ever eclipse LaMont Jordan’s rushing record, given that dual-headed rushing attacks are much more common these days?

It’s going to take a special set of circumstances for a tailback to come close to Jordan. He has 800 more yards than anyone else in school history, and that’s a more than significant difference.

Jordan is an outlier, for many, many reasons.

* He played significantly as a freshman, which doesn’t always happen.

* He stuck around for four seasons, which isn’t something a tailback who runs for 1,632 yards as a junior in a major conference is always going to do.

* He played with a set of quarterbacks who weren’t exactly known for their passing prowess. The starters during Jordan’s time in College Park included Ken Mastrole, Randall Jones and Calvin McCall, though Shaun Hill had a few starts in there as well.

* He played with a relatively undistinguished set of wide receivers, save Guilian Gary.

* He had a coach who both was willing (almost eager) to employ a workhorse back. Certainly, Ron Vanderlinden was limited by the quarterback and wideout options. But he also redshirted Bruce Perry in 2000 and hooked his wagon to Jordan in hopes of getting an extra year out of Perry down the road.

Plus, there’s the whole formula of talent and durability that permitted Jordan to thrive even though everyone in the stadium knew he would be the crux of Maryland’s offense.

So to answer the question, Jordan’s record isn’t unbreakable. But unless Maryland institutes an insanely run-heavy offense, it’s tough to believe it will fall any time soon.

Patrick Stevens

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