Maryland adds former soldier as walk-on

Maryland adds former soldier as walk-on
September 19, 2013, 2:15 pm
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Gameday preview: Terps vs Mountaineers

(Daniel Martin/CSN)

He may never actually play a down in live game action, but this much we know: Tehuti Miles is a Maryland Terrapin.

Head coach Randy Edsall announced as much in a meeting with reporters on Thursday, saying Miles would join the team as a walk-on after his staff held open tryouts in recent weeks.

But Miles' story is different than most walk-ons, different really than nearly all the football players suiting up for a team at any level of college athletics this season.

Tehuti Miles, before being the newest member of the Maryland Terrapins, was a member of the United States Army.

Just over three years ago, he was stationed in Afghanistan and on night watch with a rifle in his hands, a series of moments captured by the New York Daily News in an article published in August 2010.

"I look for anything suspicious or people doing anything out of the ordinary," Miles, cradling an M4 in his lap, told a reporter who joined his three-hour watch.

...

Using binoculars, night-vision goggles and a thermal imaging scope that detects warm things like people and animals, Miles protected his tiny 26-man unit as they slept or played dominos...This walled patrol outpost of four tents on a half-acre plot is home to a scout platoon from the 1-71 Cavalry of the Fort Drum-based 10th Mountain Division.

They've been here only four months but have lost five wounded and two platoon members killed. Several other G.I.s from their squadron were killed as they patrolled alongside them.

All were victims of IEDs. Some were on the roads; others were pressure-plate bombs targeting foot patrols."

Miles will be a skill player who helps out in practice for the Terrapins, Edsall says. He is a versatile skill player, flexing between running back, wide receiver, and defensive back. 

The native of New Jersey was identified as 19 years old in the Daily News piece quoted above, meaning he would now be close in age to many of the seniors on Maryland's roster.

He will wear No. 85.