COLLEGE PARK -- Will Likely does almost everything for Maryland. Almost. But the junior has mentioned that he literally wants to do everything, including lining up on offense, coordinator Mike Locksley told the media on Wednesday in College Park.
“He jokes around a lot about it,” Locksley said, going on to recall what Likely says to him. “Hey, put me in the slot, Coach.”
Likely’s 233 punt return yards against Richmond broke a 76-year-old Big Ten record, held previously by Iowa’s Nile Kinnick.
“He’s just so valuable to our team with the amounts of reps that he plays on defense and in special teams,” Locksley said. “As we say, with the field position he gives us, he is an offensive weapon.
"He provided us with great field position last week. For an offense to get the ball at the minus-42 or 43 ... you should score 50 or more points."
Head coach Randy Edsall said Tuesday that Likely was the best returner he had “ever been around” and elaborated to CSN’s Rob Carlin that that includes former Terrapin Stefon Diggs, who tore it up for the Minnesota Vikings in the return game during the NFL’s preseason.
"He's the guy who replaced Stefon last year on kickoff return,” Edsall said. “He took one back against Stanford 100 yards and was really good there and then when you see what he's done on punt returns, he's a special guy back there."
It’s just not clear now how many more times teams will dare to punt to him.