Russell Maryland started his football career in his hometown of Chicago, Illinois. He played both offense and defensive line for his high school team, the Whitney M. Young Dolphins.
Upon graduation, he decided to take his talents to the University of Miami. He would end up one of the best defensive lineman that ever played at Miami.
In 1990, Maryland had a monster year with 96 tackles, seven tackles for loss, 10.5 sacks, five forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.
Those numbers earned him the Outland Trophy—an award given to the best interior lineman in the country—and a spot on the All-American team.
He also won the Jack Harding Most Valuable Player Award, presented by the team.
He would end his Miami career with 279 tackles, 25 tackles for loss and 20.5 sacks.
It wasn't just about the individual recognition for Maryland, either. He helped the Hurricanes win two national championships (1987 and 1989) with an overall record of 44-4 in the four years he played for Miami.
Maryland graduated from Miami with a degree in psychology, but the NFL was calling his name.
In 1991, the Dallas Cowboys made Maryland the No. 1 draft pick.
In Dallas, he continued to be a winner. He helped the Cowboys win three Super Bowls in 1993, 1994 and 1996.
During the 1993 season, he was voted to represent the NFC in the Pro Bowl.
Maryland would go on to play for the Oakland Raiders for four years before landing a starting role in the Green Bay Packers in 2000.
After the 2000 season was over, Maryland decided to call it a career and retire.
Overall, Maryland played 10 NFL seasons. He registered 371 tackles, 24.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, six fumble recoveries and an interception.
What is most impressive is that, throughout college and the NFL, he won five championships (two in college and three in the NFL) in 14 years of playing football.
After the NFL, Maryland did some charity work and some work as a salesman for an electronics company in Southlake, Texas where he currently lives.
Maryland was recently inducted to the NCAA College Football Hall of Fame.
When I think of Miami Hurricanes, past and present, Maryland is still the standard of what a defensive tackle should be: big, strong, and surprisingly agile.
To me, he was one of the best defensive linemen Miami has ever had.