Tragedy inspires UCF linebacker


Plummer’s efforts against the Cougars earned him the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week award.

Football is a game full of emotion. There are many ups and downs that go into a 60 minute gridiron battle, with most players willing to leave everything out on the field. For UCF senior linebacker Terrance Plummer, emotion played a major factor in his career night against BYU, all while concealing a heavy heart.

“It was a roller-coaster ride,” said Plummer.

Just 24 hours before the Knights would take the field against the Cougars, Plummer received the phone call nobody wants to take. His close uncle, who had been battling leukemia, had passed away.

“Going from hearing about your close family dying, and then getting up for game day, hearing coach challenge the seniors, him saying this is our statement game, and however this game goes is how our season is going to go. It was full circle, but at the end of the day, I think our team rose to the challenge,” said Plummer.

Plummer played perhaps the best game of his collegiate career against BYU, tallying 17 tackles, including 4.5 for loss. He also forced and recovered a key fumble in the fourth quarter, broke up a pass and had a sack.

“He did a great job of coaching all week,” said UCF head coach George O’Leary. “I was on him all week about closing the line of scrimmage, and I thought that’s what he did.”

Plummer said the driving force behind his performance was the advice he received from his uncle, Quincy Pedew, to always keep pushing, no matter what the obstacle in front of you is.

“He was a fighter, he always taught me to keep going,” said Plummer. “I was always going to play, he was a football coach and he told me to always go until you can’t go any more, and then go one more time.”

Plummer’s efforts against the Cougars earned him the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week award, along with the American Athletic Conference Defensive Player of the Week accolade. It marks the third time in the Orange Park native’s career he received a weekly award from The American.

Pedew had battled leukemia for some time and had beaten the disease three times already according to Plummer, but ultimately lost his battle this past week. Pedew was a coach for North Carolina Central University, where he had also played football for the Eagles from 2000-03.

“It was a shame, his uncle was only 36 years old…I didn’t even know about it,” said O’Leary.

Plummer decided to keep the news from the team and coaches, and managed to focus on the task at hand versus the Cougars.

“Me and Terrance are roommates and I didn’t see anything, and he didn’t say anything about it,” said senior defensive back Brandon Alexander. “I think mainly because he didn’t want anybody to worry about him. Once we heard after the game what happened, he told everybody what happened to his uncle, we just said wow, now we see why you went out there and left it all out on the field.”

Plummer has taken it upon himself to take control of this Knight defense, and accepts any and all responsibilities that come with being the starting middle linebacker. His uncle can definitely be proud of the game his nephew just had.

“I want to be the leader of this defense, I want to be the guy that people can rely on.”