The University of Maryland Terrapins football media guides from the 1990s have long since faded. But they reveal a few things about special-teams player and running back Kevin Plank — now CEO of Under Armour.
His college football days were important enough to Plank that Under Armour named its large new office space in Port Covington “Building 37” — a nod to his college jersey number.
But how good was Plank and what do the guides say about him?
As a running back, he was a backup and carried five times in his career for 17 yards, averaging 3.4 yards a carry. One of the guides said he was a linebacker during his first two seasons before being switched to offense, where he was primarily a blocker.
His contributions mostly came on special teams. Such positions rely as much on will as talent.
“Has been one of the top special teams performers each of the last two years and will be counted on to play a significant role again this season,” said one guide, published before his 1995 senior season.
A photo next to his bio shows Plank waving his arms in the air.
“Kevin Plank (37) breeds emotion,” the caption reads. He began his career as a walk-on and was later awarded a scholarship, according to the media guides.
Plank is wearing black high-top cleats with the Nike swoosh in the picture. There was no Under Armour yet, of course.
On the adjoining page is a bio of defensive lineman Eric Ogbogu. Years later, Ogbogu starred in an Under Armour ad. He was so fit that his form was cast into a mold to create in-store mannequins.
The guide from a year earlier says Plank was inserted late in the final game of the season and helped stop Wake Forest at the goal line in a 33-32 victory. Maryland finished the 1993 season with a 2-9 record.
Plank, 45, switched majors from government and politics to business and management. He said in 2016 that sports helped keep him in college.
“The thing that kept driving me back was I’ve got to have good grades for sports because you have to have your grades in order to play. And it was the one thing that kept me on the straight and narrow,” he said.