Checking in with Terps career punt return leader Steve Suter

Player was best known for never calling for a fair catch

  • Terps return specialist Steve Suter looks for running room against Northern Illinois in 2004.
Terps return specialist Steve Suter looks for running room… (Baltimore Sun file photo )
November 04, 2013|By Jeff Barker | The Baltimore Sun

You remember Steve Suter. How could you not? The former Terps standout returned six punts for touchdowns in 2002 and 2003.

But I’m guessing what you best remember is this -- he never called for a fair catch.

That’s a remarkable statistic when you consider that he has more career returns (121), more career yards (1,271) and more punt return touchdowns (the six) than any other Terps player.

Suter said he believed it was better to fall forward for a yard or two -- often much more, of course -- than surrender by signaling a fair catch.

“It was probably more stupid than it was brave,” he said.

I talked to Suter last week for my story on former Maryland linebacker Kenny Tate. Both Terps once seemed like NFL prospects. Tate was a talented, imposing safety who still hopes to play professionally. Suter was tough, relentless and quick. He says he could run the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds. But that was in 2001 -- before a string of injuries that included two meniscus surgeries on each knee.

The injuries were maddening to Suter, 31, who is married and sells commercial insurance for a job. He still lives in the region. The injuries diminished his abilities enough that he couldn’t play in the NFL. He played briefly in Canada.

He still plays touch football on the weekends, though, and you surely would want him on your team.

True story: he's sidelined now with a fractured shoulder blade.

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