There will be a new voice in the Maryland radio booth alongside play-by-play man Johnny Holliday when the Terrapins open their season on Saturday at FedEx Field against Texas. Former Maryland running back LaMont Jordan, the school’s all-time leading rusher, will replace Tim Strachan as the color analyst after serving as a guest analyst for a few games late last season.
“I didn’t have to do a whole lot of talking, so it really gave me a chance to get my feet wet and come home during the offseason and really work on some things,” Jordan, 39, said in a phone interview this week of the experience he gained last year. “I think the biggest thing for me is making sure that I can pronounce these guys’ names. . . . I’m used to watching the game from the sidelines. There are some details that I can see from the sidelines that I can’t necessarily see from the booth. Outside of that, I’m there to talk football.”
Strachan, who is looking forward to spending more time with his wife and two daughters, began working with Holliday on Maryland radio broadcasts as a sideline analyst in 1996.
“I want to thank everyone that made this opportunity possible — especially Johnny Holliday, the best there is in radio and a great friend and mentor, as well as the crew that made us sound so great in [statistician] Brett Bessell, [spotter] Steve Rear and [engineer] Tom Marchitto for their professionalism and friendship,” Strachan said in a school release. “I also want to thank the Maryland fans and listeners for their support and enthusiasm for Maryland football.”
“It has been an absolute honor and joy to sit alongside Tim Strachan for the last 22 years,” Holliday said in the release. “Tim’s not only a good broadcaster, but also a great person and a family friend.”
Jordan, who had done some TV work with Channel 7 and Channel 8 before getting his shot in the radio booth, praised Holliday and Strachan for making him feel comfortable during his introduction to calling Maryland games last season. He said it was “an honor, a privilege and a pleasure” to share a booth with Holliday, who called every one of Jordan’s runs during his playing career at Maryland from 1997-2000.
“I bring a unique perspective,” said Jordan, who starred at Suitland High School before rewriting the record books at Maryland and being selected by the New York Jets in the second round of the 2001 NFL draft. “I’m going to talk about some details of why plays work, why plays didn’t work. I’m there to give my expertise, [from] my three years of high school football, my four years of college football and my nine years of NFL football. I know how huge this responsibility is. There’s always some nerves, just like there was before a game [as a player], but that’s expected. I’m excited about it.”
Jordan said he recently had an opportunity to speak with this year’s Terrapins team. After a difficult few months in the wake of offensive lineman Jordan McNair’s death in June from heatstroke suffered during a team workout and a subsequent investigation into the culture of the program, Jordan said, the players are looking forward to Saturday.
“It’s not just that way for us,” he said. “That’s a thing for everyone that’s opening up with the first game of the season. Regardless of what happens, for this moment, for these four hours, we get to go out there and try to pick up a W.”
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