Posted: 6:57 pm Thursday, December 1st, 2011
By Matt Porter
It didn’t take William Likely long to make his mark on the 2011 season.
On the first play of Glades Central’s much-hyped Labor Day game against Dwyer, Likely ran back the kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown. He added a spectacular 45-yard touchdown catch in the fourth quarter that made ESPN SportsCenter’s top 10 plays of the day.
Since that game, which was carried live on national TV, Likely hasn’t stopped making highlight-reel plays .
Thursday, Likely was honored by one organization as the best player in the state.
Likely, a 5-foot-8, 170-pound junior, was named Gatorade Florida Player of the Year, an award won by past area standouts Matt Elam (Dwyer, 2009) and Anquan Boldin (Pahokee, 1998). He will be considered a finalist for the Gatorade National Player of the Year award, which has been won by NFLers Mark Sanchez, Wes Welker and Terrell Suggs.
Likely plays wide receiver, running back, defensive back and returner for Glades Central (12-0), which hosts Miami Norland (12-0) Friday in a Class 5A regional final. With the ball in his hands, he’s earned a reputation as the county’s top home-run threat.
“Likely single-handedly beat us,” Dwyer coach Jack Daniels said in a press release. “The kid is a fantastic player. You know what’s coming, and he still beats you.”
Likely has 742 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 69 carries and 586 receiving yards and five touchdowns on 31 catches. He also has 36 tackles, 15 pass breakups and four interceptions for a defense that allows just 84 rushing yards, 35 passing yards and 6.2 points per game. He returned 12 total punts and kickoffs back for 380 more yards and two touchdowns.
Likely, who has a 3.86 weighted grade-point average, donates his time in football camps, on behalf of a literacy-outreach program, and at a food pantry and an assisted living facility.
He is being recruited by numerous BCS programs, including Alabama, Florida, Florida State, LSU and Miami, and projects as a cornerback in college.