It’s game day. Every Terp suits up in their jersey, pads, cleats and the well-known Maryland helmet. The fans love it. The part many fans don’t see or know about is some of the players’ game day rituals. Each player has something different.
For offensive tackle Tyran Hunt, most of his motivation comes from the rotation of seven wristbands he wears not only every game, but every single day. Each one of these wristbands has a deeper meaning beyond the surface. Hunt refers to them as
the little notes on my wrist.
It all began in high school.
I had one pair of socks that I used to wear for every game. I wore them from my freshman year to my senior year, and they literally had holes in them, he said.
I couldn’t wear them anymore. When I got to college, I had to figure out what my thing was, again.
Hunt traveled with the team for the first time at the 2017 Michigan State game, one of the coldest games of the season. During the game he had on three wristbands that said:
Hard Work and Doing Things Right,
Uplifting the Athletes, and
The Body by God.
After the game, a friend approached him and asked,
Are wristbands your ‘thing?’
Not really, he replied. Then he rethought it and pictured the wristbands with the rest of his Maryland gear. There, he found his new game day ritual.
From that conversation, every game I wear seven wristbands in total. Each one has a specific meaning. I pick them out with very close detail to each meaning.
The night before game day, Hunt lays out his collection of wristbands and carefully chooses the combination, or rotation, to wear for the game.
Sometimes I'll make a last minute audible. I’ll have them set out and think, ‘no, maybe not this one, I actually want this one instead,’ he said.
Sometimes I’ll call my friends and ask them which ones to wear. It’s a big deal.
He switches up the wristbands based on his mood, which can be to brighten up or to stay focused. The one rule he doesn’t break with these wristbands is: Never wear the same wristband combination twice.
I don't usually wear the same exact wristbands for every game. For example, the wristbands I wear for the spring game won't be the same ones I'll wear for summer or fall camp. The big rotations I do are for the game.
He has a collection of over 100 wristbands, although he only wears seven at a time. Some of the wristbands he owns come from friends who have noticed that he wears them frequently, but most are from what he’s collected over time. He determines which wristbands to collect based off the meaning each one represents.
One wristband he wears every day says,
Changing the Narrative. During the past fall camp, Rachel Baribeau, a motivational speaker, visited the Maryland football team and talked about changing the narrative. This is when Hunt received the wristband.
It just reminds me to respect myself, respect others and try to hold myself to a specific standard. It’s just like a daily reminder about some of the beliefs and things that we have in the [football] program.
Hunt also wears a wristband that shows support for breast cancer awareness.
My aunt and godmother both had breast cancer. Personally, I never really knew much about it until it started affecting them, he said.
He received this wristband at a community service held by his fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Hunt’s aunt taught at his high school, and he didn’t know she was diagnosed with breast cancer until he overheard a conversation.
You would have thought that nothing was wrong with her, Hunt explained.
There are so many things we get down on ourselves as people. You may get stuck on what you may be going through, and then you realize that somebody else is going through something bigger than that.
People might be walking around with a smile on their face and you would never know what their going through. Her resilience and strength pushes me to continue to push through things, because you never know, wearing this wristband reminds me that sometimes the strength of those around you can have a deeper meaning.
One of his top-three wristbands pays tribute to Jordan McNair.
He was one of my closest friends coming into college. I learned so much from him, so it's just always in remembrance of him, he said.
It’s the little things about these wristbands that go a long way for Hunt. Each word carries a bigger meaning for him.
Hunt said he didn’t learn how to swim until last summer when he was at a YMCA in his hometown of Boykins, Va. This is when he had the opportunity to collect another wristband that shows support for
Drennen’s Dreams, a national drowning prevention and water safety non-profit organization.
I was just a supporter of the program. It was a life changing event, he said.
It was important to hear about people who might not get the spotlight. For instance, firefighters put their lives on the line every day. There are more people, like lifeguards, who play a big role in making sure people are fine, just saving lives.
These wristbands serve as daily reminders for the redshirt sophomore.
It always comes down to the little details. These bands help me in being more aware about other things than just stuff I'm involved in, Hunt said.
I just keep them on my wrist as daily reminders and motivation.