With the way junior Will Likely was making plays on defense and special teams, it seemed only to be a matter of time before Maryland would start using him on the offensive side of the ball.
We got a taste against Ohio State, but with interim head coach Mike Locksley taking the reins against Penn State, he really became an option. Likely carried the ball four times for 30 yards, including a 17-yard scamper, and caught another pass for four yards in the 31-30 loss.
“We’ve always had kind of a Will package the last couple of weeks,” Locksley said last week. “He has been … chomping at the bit to get involved offensive and as an offensive guy, having another weapon like a Will being able to get the ball to him was something that I was interested in.
“Once Randy [Edsall] gave us the go-ahead, we started building a package for him and each week we carry the package and then because he’s been doing it a couple of weeks now, we’ve been able to add a few things in there.”
It’s the sort of variety that adds spice to a team that has undergone a renewal since their bye week and the firing of Edsall. The offense is more open and free. Players are trying to keep the atmosphere more loose.
After the game against Ohio State, Likely said when talking to the media that he was unsure whether or not he would be seeing more snaps on that side of the ball. He said he was simply trying to help his team.
Locksley is glad to accommodate.
“I think you’ll see him in there not just in red zone but maybe throw him in there when we need a play made or just to find a way to create a spark for us on offense,” Locksley said.
“He’s a guy that makes plays for us. We played a lot of players. I am a big believer that we have to continue to play a lot of guys.”