COLLEGE PARK, Md. – Maryland defensive back William Likely and linebacker Marcus Whitfield were named to Phil Steele’s postseason awards list, the publication announced on Friday.
Likely earned second team Freshman All-American honors and second team All-ACC honors as a kick returner, while Whitfield earned third team All-ACC honors.
In 12 games, Likely averaged 27.0 yards on 24 kickoff returns, which ranked second in the Atlantic Coast Conference and 13th nationally. His kickoff return average is currently the third-highest Maryland single-season total all-time and is just shy of Stefon Diggs’ freshman record (28.52) set last season.
On punts, Likely averaged 12.8 yards per return, which ranks fourth in the ACC and 17th nationally. With one game remaining, Likely currently holds the Maryland freshman record previously held by Orlando Strozier (10.46 ypr) set in 1993.
The Belle Glade, Fla., native also returned one punt for a touchdown this season coming against Virginia Tech. Likely returned the kick 63 yards against the Hokies for the first score of his career. On the day, Likely accounted for all of Maryland’s 106 punt return yards, the third-highest total by a conference team this season.
Whitfield (linebacker) emerged as one of the top pass rushers in the ACC. The Germantown, Md., native has a team-best 9.0 sacks, which is tied for fifth in the conference, and he is tied for eighth in the ACC with 14.5 TFL. Whitfield has totaled 50 tackles, three passes defensed and two forced fumbles, along with one fumble recovered and a blocked PAT.