COLLEGE PARK – University of Maryland defensive back William Likely has been named to the Bednarik Award Watch list. Announced on Tuesday, the Maxwell Football Club honored Likely for his athletic ability and undeniable versatility at his position. In fact, NFL.com ranked him as one of the Top 6 Most Versatile Players in college football. […]
COLLEGE PARK – University of Maryland defensive back William Likely has been named to the Bednarik Award Watch list. Announced on Tuesday, the Maxwell Football Club honored Likely for his athletic ability and undeniable versatility at his position. In fact, NFL.com ranked him as one of the Top 6 Most Versatile Players in college football.
The Bednarik Award has been presented to the College Defensive Player of the Year since 1995. Chuck Bednarik, a former standout at Penn and with the Philadelphia Eagles, is a member of both the College Football Hall of Fame (class of 1969) and the NFL Hall of Fame (class of 1967).
“I feel very confident about these guys,” said Likely about the upcoming season. “Coach Durkin, he’s a great coach. Just looking at the things he’s did in previous years, he changed teams drastically. He was able to get all these coaches – I think we probably have one of the best coaching staffs in the country right now – so it will be a great opportunity to play under those guys.”
Likely has become a household name after being selected as a First-Team All-Big Ten defensive back each of the last two seasons. Likely racked up 44 tackles, four tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and led the team with 11 pass breakups last season.
His career started off with a bang when he was honored as an All-Academic ACC Selection, and he has been rewriting the history books ever since. Likely currently holds six Maryland records which include: single-season interception return yards (170, 2014), single-season interceptions returned for touchdowns (2, 2014), single-game return yards (228 against Michigan State, 2014), single-game punt return yards (233 against Richmond, 2015), shares the longest kickoff return average (31.0, 2014) and longest kickoff return records (100 yards against Stanford, 2014).
The Florida native broke a 76-year-old Big Ten record when he torched Virginia for 233 punt return yards in College Park during the 2014 campaign. During that year, Likely accounted for 83 tackles, six interceptions and tied for the FBS lead by returning two interceptions for touchdowns. He was also tied for first place in the Big Ten with 15 passes defensed during that span.
His defensive prowess is known, but his speed and agility as a kick return specialist is phenomenal. Likely garnered All-American return specialist honors and led the country with 1,197 kick return yards in 2015.
Semifinalists for the Bednarik Award will be announced Oct. 31, with the three finalists being unveiled on Nov. 21. The winner of the 2016 Bednarik Award will be announced as part of the Home Depot College Football Awards Show held on Dec. 8. The formal presentation of the award will be made at the Maxwell Football Club Awards Gala hosted by Revel Casino Hotel Atlantic City on March 10, 2017.
Likely has also been added to the 2016 preseason Bronko Nagurski Trophy Watch List. The Bronko Nagurski Trophy is presented annually to the National Defensive Player of the Year by the Charlotte Touchdown Club and the Football Writers Association of America.
Another player who was recently honored was University of Maryland center Brendan Moore. Moore has been named to the 2016 Rimington Trophy Fall list. The Rimington Trophy is presented annually to the most outstanding center in NCAA Division I college football. Moore showed what he was capable of last year after he started at left tackle against Rutgers in Maryland’s season finale and assisted in aiding the Terps to 656 yards of total offense.