Maryland Terrapins senior defensive back Will Likely suffered a torn ACL and will miss the remainder of the season. Named to four separate pre-season watch lists both as a returner and defensive back, Likely was selected as Pre-season First Team All-Big Ten returner and a second team All-Big Ten defensive back.
In the six games he played during his senior season, Likely made 32 tackles–four of which were for a loss–and one sack. He hasn’t snagged an interception since he had six as a sophomore back in 2014, but that’s likely due to the limited number of times the ball comes in his air space. He had a career-high 11 passes defended last season, but had totaled just three so far in 2016 before the knee injury.
After leading the ACC in kick return yards (729) as a freshman back in 2013, Likely has taken off as an explosive kick-return weapon. At just 5’7″ and 170 pounds, he crossed the 1,200-yard plateau last season with 789 kick return yards and 419 coming off punts (including setting the new single game Big Ten punt return record when he had 233 yards in last year’s season opener), finding the end zone three times. He was yet to cross the goal line this season, but was limited to just 16 touches in his first six games and 245 combined yards.
Likely is backed up at the nickel back position by true freshman Elijah Daniels, who may have the first crack at slotting in for last season’s First-team All-Big Ten defensive back (voted on by the coaches). Also behind him on the depth chart is sophomore RaVon Davis.