ASHBURN — Before practice Wednesday, Morgan Moses and Brandon Scherff congratulated Terry McLaurin. The only problem? The second-year Washington wide receiver didn’t know what the two were talking about.
“I’m looking around like, ‘What happened?’,” McLaurin said.
McLaurin, however, didn’t have to wait long to find out. After the session concluded, coach Ron Rivera gathered his team to make an announcement: The players unanimously voted for McLaurin to become a team captain.
The title marks another accomplishment for the 25-year-old, who has become a budding star and whose leadership presence has had a positive impact on the locker room. Rivera said the team had voted on adding another captain after safety Landon Collins went down with a season-ending Achilles injury.
McLaurin was shocked.
“I didn’t even know there was going to be a vacancy,” McLaurin said. “But when I was announced, the thing that I told the team — they wanted me to give a speech — is nothing changes for me mentality wise, who I am as a person, how I act going forward now that I have that ‘C’ on my chest. While it’s a great honor, the thing that helped me get this honor was coming to work every day and being a guy that works hard and walks the walk and doesn’t talk the talk.”
Truthfully, it only felt like a matter of time before McLaurin was formally named a captain for Washington. The wideout had served in a similar role for multiple years at Ohio State — first earning it as a junior, which is rare in college football.
Since arriving in Washington in 2019, the former third-rounder has displayed a heavy work ethic and been a positive presence for his teammates. He’s also produced on the field, catching 101 passes for 1,496 in his 21 career games.
After Washington’s win over Dallas before its bye week, McLaurin addressed the group with an impromptu speech. He told them that the victory was the result of the hard work they had done in practice and was an example of what they were capable of. McLaurin’s speech, which was captured on video and went viral on social media, fired the group up as cheers erupted in the locker room when he was finished.
On Wednesday, Rivera said the honor was well-earned.
“What’s been impressive is, for such a young man and such a young player, to be as mature as he is first and foremost and be the right kind of person that you want to be one of your leaders,” Rivera said. “He leads by example. A very quiet leader who just goes out and does his job.”