Maryland football players encourage fans to vote originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

College football teams are always filled with first-time voters. The Maryland Terrapins are no different, and they’re speaking out on why they want you to vote on Election Day if you haven’t already. 

“So this year is my first time being able to vote in the presidential election,” junior wide receiver Brian Cobbs said. “I was able to vote last week — I’m not a resident of Maryland, so I was able to vote with an absentee ballot — and I just feel like voting is the most important thing right now because we’re in very trying times.”

Cobbs, who caught four passes for 52 yards in Maryland’s thrilling victory over Minnesota on Friday, hails from nearby Alexandria, Va.  

“They’re a lot of controversial issues that need to be discussed and talked about. So everyone’s voice does need to be heard and I really encourage everybody to get out and vote,” Cobb said.

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Starting right tackle Marcus Minor, a DeMatha High product and junior from Lanham, Md., agreed with Cobb’s sentiment. 

“Make sure you go out and vote. I already casted my ballot in,” Minor said. “I’m not here to tell you who to vote for or what to vote for. I just want everyone to go out and vote. To me, it’s very important because my ancestors fought hard for me to go out and vote and I think it’s important we pick the leaders that we really want to lead this country.”

That civic duty by student-athletes still in their late teens or early 20s stems in part from having a coach like Mike Locksley, who emphasized the importance to his players of making their voices heard, to become involved in decisions that involve their communities. That engagement will continue at the ballot box on Tuesday if it hasn’t already. 

“Voting isn’t only a right, it’s an obligation,” Locksley said. “We talked about voting as a team and our players took it to heart. Some, like me, submitted ballots by mail. The rest of them are going to make sure their voices are heard on Tuesday. I hope that you all get out and make your vote count.”