On Sept. 14, against the University of Connecticut, cornerback Dexter McDougle dove low for a tackle and wound up suffering a season-ending shoulder injury. So he spent the final season of his college football career traveling to every away game, attending every practice and sitting through every meeting, but unable to join his teammates on the field on Saturdays. Sometimes, at Byrd Stadium, he sat on the far end of the press box, away from the working media, watching the action unfold down below.
It was for this, and many other reasons, that Coach Randy Edsall decided to present McDougle with the inaugural Dexter McDougle Ultimate Team Player Award on Sunday afternoon at the Maryland football team’s end-of-year banquet. Afterwards, McDougle took to Instagram, where he posted a picture of himself and Edsall, leading with a thinly veiled reference to the critiques that have bombarded the third-year coach.
“A lot of people have something to say about this man, well I do [too],” McDougle wrote. “Coach Edsall has impacted my life greatly. Teaching me how to be a man and be accountable in life. He honored me at the banquet by presenting me with the Dexter McDougle Ultimate Team Player award, which will be presented at the banquets from here on out. I’m thankful and very blessed.”
During the more standard portion of the ceremony, quarterback C.J. Brown was named both the team MVP and offensive MVP. Linebacker Marcus Whitfield, who earned honorable mention all-ACC after finishing in the conference’s top 10 in sacks, was the defensive player of the year, while freshman Will Likely, who returned a punt for a touchdown that keyed an upset over Virginia Tech, was the special teams player of the year.
Other awards were as follows:
Defensive lineman Andre Monroe: lineman of the year
Long snapper Greg Parcher: The Alvin L. Aubinoe Unsung Hero Trophy
Linebacker Matt Robinson: The A.V. Williams Award for Outstanding & Conspicuous Sportsmanship Award
Cornerback Tony Perry: The Dr. John E. Faber Award for Iron Man and the George C. Cook Memorial Award for the senior with the highest GPA.
Tight end P.J. Gallo: The George Boutsellis Memorial Award for the team’s highest GPA.
Center Sal Conaboy: The Public Service Award. (Over the summer, Conaboy worked for the U.S. Marshals)