Saturday’s game against Virginia will be the final home game for Maryland’s seniors, including wide receiver Ronnie Tyler, who was made available to reporters Wednesday for the first time since being suspended for two games following his mid-September arrest and second-degree assault charge.
I asked Tyler if he had any regrets about his actions that led to the two-game suspension.
“Of course I do,” Tyler said. “The main regret is that [Coach Randy Edsall] had a curfew set for us every night: 11 p.m. I was out after 11. That’s my main regret. To a certain extent, I know I let my teammates down. I kind of offended or disrespected the reputation of a Maryland player. I apologize for that. Mistakes are mistakes.”
Tyler said he talked to Edsall about it, and at first thought he would never play again at Maryland.
“When it first happened, I thought I was done,” Tyler said. “I was grateful that he gave me another opportunity. . . .
“Every snap I take, every time I put on a jersey I am grateful, every bus ride to Byrd or any other stadium I am grateful just to be there again,” Tyler said.
Tyler missed the losses to West Virginia and Temple because of the suspension. He said that before the Towson game on Oct. 1, Edsall sat him down and said he would have another chance and “don’t mess up.”
“Don’t mess up, that was it,” Tyler said. “I shook his hand and I walked out.”
Since returning from the suspension, Tyler has struggled at times with dropped passes. He was demoted on the depth chart following a key drop against Clemson. He is back on the depth chart as Quintin McCree’s backup.
“My confidence was kind of shaky when the ball was in the air,” Tyler said. “Drops have never been an issue for me in my career. I just had to take a deep breath and now I am very confident again. I am back. I am ready.”
Now Tyler is preparing for his final home game.
“Saturday is important; hopefully it doesn’t get too emotional for me,” Tyler said. “There’s no better game than going out against U-Va. Coach [Ralph] Friedgen would remind us of how much we should hate them. That’s still in there, we still joke about it.”
Friedgen was not too fond of Virginia.
“Not at all,” Tyler said. “You have no clue. So it means a lot.”
Tyler said he will graduate in December, culminating a career that spanned a turbulent stretch for the Maryland program.
“It has been wild. It has been crazy,” Tyler said.
“I played all four years, a lot of people can’t say that,” Tyler said. “I am grateful. I think I had a pretty good career. Everybody comes out and wants to be the next Peter Warrick or Reggie Bush. It’s not always like that. I am grateful for my situation.”
Final note on the Tyler interview. When asked what the team believed after the season-opening win against Miami, Tyler said, “We didn’t think we would lose a game, truth be told.”