University of Maryland center Kevin Glover watched his fate unfold on cable television, Terrapin quarterback Frank Reich couldn't bear to look, and Virginia defensive back Lester Lyles slept through the National Football League draft yesterday.
Glover, widely thought of as one of the finest centers ever to play at Maryland, was chosen in the second round by the Detroit Lions. Reich, who started in only seven games at quarterback for Maryland last season because of a shoulder injury, was chosen by the Buffalo Bills in the third round. Lyles, a cornerback out of St. Albans High School, was chosen in the second round by the New York Jets.
Later, Virginia guard Bob Olderman was picked by Kansas City in the fourth round. In the seventh round, Maryland linebacker Eric Wilson was picked by Green Bay and Seattle chose Virginia tackle Ron Mattes.
Reich, too nervous to watch ESPN's telecast of the draft from New York, learned his fate at about 2:45 p.m. in his room in Maryland's Calvert Hall. He had retired there with a video machine, the entire "Rocky" film series and a game of Trivial Pursuit to pass the time.
"It was a long wait and well worth it," said Reich. "When the call finally came, I didn't expect it. I was just real relieved. I grabbed my heart and went 'Phew.' "
Glover received his news at about 1:15 p.m. at his family home in Upper Marlboro, where he had gone to watch ESPN. When the phone rang, he was put on hold for 15 minutes while the Lions waited for their pick. When word came he almost missed it for the roar that went up from his family in the living room.
"I was shocked, happy, glad it was over with," Glover said. "When they told me I was a Lion, I could barely hear because everybody was yelling."
Lyles, a 6-foot-3, 215-pounder who runs the 40 in 4.55, was dozing through the lengthy proceedings when his phone call came at about 1:30 p.m. He had expected to go as high as late in the first round if he was lucky, as low as the fifth if he was not. He wound up the 40th player chosen and the second pick of the Jets. He probably will be switched to strong safety.
"I watched the first round but then I feel asleep," he said. "A friend called to ask me for any news. When I woke up, the Jets were making their pick. I hung up and the phone rang again, and it was them. They asked me if I was still interested in playing for the Jets. I said 'Yeah.' "
Reich, who returned from his injury last season to lead the Terrapins to a victory over Tennessee in the Sun Bowl, was the first pick of the third round and the second quarterback taken behind Randall Cunningham of Nevada-Las Vegas. Reich was the 57th player chosen overall. With the trade yesterday of veteran quarterback Joe Ferguson to the Detroit Lions, Reich's competition in Buffalo will consist of Joe Dufek, a third-year player out of Yale, and Matt Koffler, in his fourth year out of San Diego State.
"I'm not going in expecting to play," Reich said. "I'm not going in there to rock the boat. But strange things can happen, you never know."
Glover was the third center chosen in the draft and the 34th pick overall. The other centers in Detroit are Amos Fowler, an eight-year veteran, and Steve Mott, in his third year out of Alabama. One of Glover's more pleasureable tasks will be blocking for running back Billy Sims.
"It didn't really hit me until I was on the phone," Glover said. "I tried to stay up all night so I would be tired and sleep most of the morning. But I started watching at about 8:30.
"I don't know what they have planned for me. Billy Sims is one of the best backs in the league."
For Maryland Coach Bobby Ross, it was a rewarding day. He followed most of the action from his office upstairs in Cole Field House. He made brief appearances at an informal press conference on a balcony overlooking Byrd Stadium.
"All indications were that they would go in the rounds that they did," Ross said. "I'm proud, it's what a coach wants for his players."
Reich was accompanied to Cole Field House for the informal press conference by his girlfriend, Linda Fick. He already showed signs of a professional. When a television crew asked Fick to step forward, Reich gave her some advice.
"Don't screw up," he said. "If you're not sure what to say, don't say anything."