Fleet-Davis, the mastermind behind the idea, had noticed an abundance of Gatorade-branded towels that clutter the sideline during games. He gave those towels a purpose. Fleet-Davis laid them across the bench, creating a comfy place to sit. It’s called the G Seat, an homage to the towels and the celebratory drink. Once the scorer arrives, his teammates drape towels over him, tucking them into the front and back of his jersey or tossing them across his legs.
“As if you're wearing a cape,” Fleet-Davis said. “Wrap you up like a mummy maybe.”
Sometimes teammates fan the scorer with towels, too. You’re supposed to feel like a king, said McFarland, whom Fleet-Davis credited with naming the seat.
“You sit down, enjoy your touchdown and sip on Gatorade,” Fleet-Davis said.
When McFarland scored later in the game, this time on an 80-yard run, he sat in the G Seat and squirted two bottles of Gatorade into his mouth at once.
Two seasons ago, the Miami Hurricanes started a wave of flashy but fun celebrations when they unveiled the Turnover Chain, an oversized gold necklace. Cornerback Malek Young grabbed an interception in the season opener, the chain slid over his head, and a national trend was born.
Sideline props have long existed in college football, but Miami’s 2017 rendition prompted the rapid creation of spinoff celebrations featuring robes, thrones, backpacks and spiked shoulder pads. Many accompany turnovers, but for now, Maryland’s version celebrates touchdowns and doesn’t require any unusual items. Because Fleet-Davis’s idea came to him midgame, he stuck with what he could find on the sideline.
“Just like anybody else has got their own little thing going on in college,” McFarland said before referencing Miami’s Turnover Chain. “Just wanted to have fun doing something, so anybody who gets into the end zone gets to sit in the G Seat.”
Maryland’s offense has been prolific in bursts, with attention-grabbing performances to start the season against Howard and Syracuse in which the team scored a combined 142 points. The unit stalled in losses to Temple and Penn State, but the offense showed progress in a 48-7 win against Rutgers. Coach Michael Locksley’s system has proved to be explosive, though it lacks consistency. But the common thread through the Terps’ changing regimes has been the strength of the running backs: a group now led by McFarland, Leake and Fleet-Davis.
Each running back gives the others resounding endorsements when asked about their abilities, and a glance at the sideline reveals their genuine excitement for one another’s success. At most positions, but particularly for running backs, depth helps the team but limits individual accolades. That does not bother this group.
“This is the best team I’ve been on,” Leake said earlier in the season after Maryland beat Syracuse. “These guys are amazing. They’re really my brothers. We really treat it as a family out there, and we do the same thing in practice. It translates to the game. It’s just so fun. I can’t express that enough.”
That continued against Rutgers, when the Terps finally returned to their winning ways after their late-September lull. After McFarland’s second-quarter touchdown that ushered in the G Seat, Leake scored twice in the third quarter, including on a 100-yard kickoff return, while McFarland earned another trip to the comfy spot, too.
So only running backs have enjoyed this chair created by a member of their position group, but they assured that the G Seat will welcome all touchdown-scorers.
When asked whether the spur-of-the-moment celebration will persist through the season, Fleet-Davis said, “Absolutely.”
“The boys said that they want to make it a tradition,” he said. “And I’m all for it.”