The collegiate career is over for one of the most exciting players in the Big Ten.
Maryland announced Friday that defensive back/return man Will Likely will miss the remainder of the season with a torn ACL.
Likely opted to delay his NFL future and return for his senior year this past offseason, and now his senior year is done earlier than he hoped.
Likely has 255 all-purpose yards this season, the vast majority of those coming on kick returns. But the all-conference defensive back was having another stellar season on defense, ranking third on the team with 32 total tackles, including four tackles for loss and a sack. He also had three pass break-ups, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
In his four-year career, Likely racked up 2,233 kick-return yards and 875 punt-return yards, plus 120 yards from scrimmage on the offensive side of the ball. He intercepted six passes during the 2014 season and seven in his career. He scored six career touchdowns in the return game.
Last season, he earned All-Big Ten First Team honors and was named the conference's Return Specialist of the Year. He was an All-Big Ten First Team member in 2014, as well.
Likely hold the Maryland single-season records for the most interception-return yards and the most interception-return touchdowns. He holds the program single-game records for the most kick-return yards and the most punt-return yards, the latter — a 233-yard day against Richmond last season — also broke the Big Ten record, one that stood for 76 years.
“In the short time I’ve been here at Maryland, I understand and have a great appreciation for the significant impact Will Likely has had on our football program,” Maryland head coach DJ Durkin said in the announcement, his quotes published by the Washington Post. “Will was one of the first people I met with when I accepted this job, and it was quickly apparent how much he meant to his teammates and Maryland football.
“He will continue to play a vital role in our program as we lean on him for his leadership and experience. I am confident Will has the work ethic, drive and focus to overcome this injury and continue his football career at the next level.”
He may be limited on experience, but Chris Getz already has a strong idea about player development.
Getz -- who on Friday was named the White Sox director of player development -- worked the past two seasons as an assistant to baseball operations in player development for the Kansas City Royals. A fourth-round pick of the White Sox in the 2005 amateur draft, Getz replaces Nick Capra, who earlier this month was named the team’s third-base coach. A quick learner whom a baseball source said the Royals hoped to retain, Getz described his new position as being “very task oriented.”
“(The job) is carrying out the vision of the scouts,” Getz said. “The players identified by the scouts and then they are brought in and it’s a commitment by both the player and staff members to create an environment for that player to reach their ceiling.
“It’s a daily process.”
Getz, a University of Michigan product, played for the White Sox in 2008 and 2009 before he was traded to the Royals in a package for Mark Teahen in 2010. Previously drafted by the White Sox in 2002, he described the organization as “something that always will be in my DNA.”
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Getz stayed in Kansas City through 2013 and began to consider a front-office career as his playing career wound down. His final season in the majors was with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2014.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore hired Getz as an assistant to baseball operations in January 2015 and he quickly developed a reputation as both highly intelligent and likeable, according to a club source.
“He is extremely well-regarded throughout the game, and we believe he is going to have a positive impact on the quality of play from rookie ball through Chicago,” GM Rick Hahn said.
Getz had as many as four assistant GMs ahead of him with the Royals, who couldn’t offer the same kind of position as the White Sox did. Getz spent the past week meeting with other members of the White Sox player development staff and soon will head to the team’s Dominican Republic academy. After that he’ll head to the Arizona Fall League as he becomes familiar with the department. Though he’s still relatively new, Getz knows what’s expected of his position.
“It’s focused on what’s in front of you,” Getz said. “Player development people are trying to get the player better every single day.”
“With that being said, the staff members need to be creative in their thinking. They need to be innovative at times. They need to know when to press the gas or pump the brakes. They need to be versatile in all these different areas.”