By Jarred Belman
Maryland defensive back Will Likely had a day for the record books on Saturday against Richmond. In addition to breaking the Big Ten single-game record with 233 punt return yards, the junior cornerback made two pass breakups and had four tackles for the Terrapins; good enough to win Big Ten Special Teams Player of the Week.
For some perspective on how impressive Likely’s performance was, the Maryland return ace only had 210 punt return yards all of last season, a year in which he also racked up a conference high six interceptions. So what is next for the player who can do just about everything?
There is little doubt amongst Maryland fans that Likely has already established himself as the Terrapins’ best player, but now he is garnering national recognition as well. Joining Ohio State’s Braxton Miller, among others, Likely was named to the Paul Hornug honor roll for week one, an award given annually to the most versatile player in college football. Likely certainly fits that description.
On August 1st during an interview with the Washington Post, Likely declared himself the best cornerback in the Big Ten and the best returner as well. His performance on Saturday certainly backed up those claims.
Likely’s 67-yard punt return touchdown was the play of the game against Richmond and it likely will(no pun intended) not be the last big play for the Maryland star this season. For the first time in a long time Maryland fans have a player to be excited about, and maybe with Likely’s exceptional play the Terrapins have a chance to make some noise in the Big Ten this season.