By AFRO Staff
Jordan Martin McNair, a promising collegiate football at the University of Maryland, collapsed suddenly during football practice on May 29 and died on June 13. He was 19.
McNair, the son of Tonya Renee Wilson and Martin Alfred McNair, was born on March 3, 1999 in Baltimore, Maryland.
McNair attended the New Psalmist Christian School in Baltimore City and Deer Park Middle Magnet School in Baltimore County. Before heading to high school, Jordan was a multi-sport athlete playing both football and basketball. He was a member of the Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) and the Hamilton Tigers Football Program. He helped the Hamilton Tigers to a 2nd place finish in the National Youth Football Championship in 2012.
In June 2017, he graduated from the McDonogh School, a private college-preparatory school located in Owings Mills, Md. At McDonogh, McNair found his niche as an offensive lineman. In 2016, he helped lead the McDonogh Eagles to an 8-3 record and received the Most Valuable Lineman Award. He was selected as one of the top high school football players in the Baltimore Metropolitan area by the Baltimore Touchdown Club, Maryland’s Premier High School Football Coaches Association. Because of his outstanding performance, he received offers from many of the top football programs throughout the nation to include: Auburn, Georgia, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio State, Penn State, Tennessee, Virginia Tech, and Wisconsin.
In order to maintain his hometown connection and play before family and friends, he accepted the offer from the University of Maryland College Park and proudly wore #79 as an offensive lineman. McNair said, “I am staying close to home because I just love my family.” In 2017, McNair appeared in one game, making his collegiate debut against Towson University as a redshirt freshman. He was a sophomore with a major in kinesiology. It was his hope to become a physical therapist after completing a successful football career.
“Jordy,” as he was affectionately called, was a 6’4”, 320-pound teddy bear; he was a young man of few words but his simple presence filled his family and friends with great joy. In addition to his talents as an athlete, he was a diligent and hardworking scholar, especially in mathematics and reading. He also loved good food, especially his mom’s sweet potato casserole and banana pudding. There are so many “Jordy stories” that the family will continue to share. Jordan leaves to cherish the memory of a life well-lived, his parents Tonya Wilson and Martin “Marty” McNair; one brother, Oshea Smith; his paternal grandparents, Susie McNair and Alfred D. McNair; his maternal grandparents, Lenora Wilson and James Davis, Jr. and Richard Wilson (Jeannette); two uncles, Lionel Hall (Stacia) and Jermaine (Lauren); a devoted aunt, Shansharett Bannerman; “big” cousins, DJ and Deairra Evans; godmother, Karen Marshall; close friend and BFF, Danae Hebron; and a host of family members, teammates and cousins for whom he was a hero.
Memorial Donations may be made to the Jordan McNair Foundation, 5210 Downing Road, Baltimore, MD 21202.