After a decent Signing Day where Maryland signed four 4-star recruits and 1-five star recruit, Maryland head coach Randy Edsall decided that he would share an unusual tale about his recruitment of four-star defensive back Will Likely.
Likely is from the Florida hotbed for recruiting, Bell Glade, Florida. Edsall and members of his staff took a trip to Bell Glade to visit Likely back in December. A trip that was obviously productive because Likely signed with Terps and even early enrolled. But the trip proved to be just as dangerous as it was productive.
Edsall shared the tale at his Signing Day press conference yesterday:
The one thing is, if you’ve ever read the story about down there in the muck, about how they used to chase rabbits, the first question I asked Will, I said, ‘When you chased the rabbits, did you catch them?’ He said yeah, so I offered him a scholarship. If he didn’t catch the rabbits, I wasn’t going to offer him.
I’m very, very fortunate to be sitting here after going down and recruiting Will. We go down to West Palm Beach, and I’m with Coach Stewart and we’re going to drive out to Belle Glade to see Will that night. Brian punches in the address to Will’s house. Believe me, I’ve been to Belle Glade many times and everything else. We’re driving.
This is always one of the things. You go with the assistant coach, so you think they’ve been there. They’ve taken the drive around. They know exactly where they’re going.
All of a sudden, we’re driving and the GPS tell us to take a right here. I know that’s not right, because I’ve been down here. We’re driving up this road, and it’s leading us towards Pahokee. So we’re driving and I say to Brian: ‘I’m telling you now, I’ve been down here. Where we’re going isn’t where we want to be going. So we keep driving, he says, ‘The GPS says it’s right up here, a couple miles.’ I said: ‘Okay. I’m just telling you, this isn’t the right way.’
It’s all sugarcane fields. There’s no lights. It’s dark, 7 or 8 O’clock at night in December. So I said no, this isn’t right. There’s a railroad track there. All of a sudden, there’s this development. Probably 10 houses. You take a left, take a right, there’s a church, nice homes there. Go down, take another left there. He said it’s on this street.
It’s so dark, you can’t even see the numbers on the houses. He’s going real, real slow. I said: ‘Brian, I’m telling you. This is not right.’ So he gets on the phone. True story. Will will let you know this later. Says, ‘Will, is this your address?’ Yes. That’s what he punched in. ‘Well we’re here, what’s your house?’ So we’re sitting there for five, seven minutes. Will says it’s not there. So we start to go.
We’re going to take a left. Here comes a pickup truck. They’re staring at us like, ‘What the heck are you guys doing in here?’ Then we got a car that comes up behind us. So now there’s a car coming behind us. I said, ‘Brian, I think we ought to get out of here.’ So we take a left and go.
Next thing you know, we’ve got both of them on our bumper in this little development. We get out on this highway. So Brian says, ‘Randy, hold on.’
We come flying out of this development. Take a right. The pickup truck tries to rear-end us. The other car tries to go outside us. He says, ‘Call 911.’ So I’m calling 911, I’m saying, ‘Hey, I’m the head coach at the University of Maryland. I know where we are, we’re getting chased. We didn’t do anything. We need a police officer to come out here.’
We drive for two and a half to three miles with people chasing us. Finally we get to the light. Brian outran them a bit. We get to the light, took a right and they stopped following us because we got out of things.
That’s the first time in 30 years I ever got chased out of a development and chased down the highway, going to recruit somebody. So we called Will, and his dad came out and met us. We were okay after that.
Recruiting in the south is definitely serious business.