Strange stories seem to be a staple of signing day, but rarely do we hear coaches tell tales of danger while recruiting.
Well, Maryland’s Randy Edsall just broke that mold.
During his signing day press conference on Wednesday, Edsall told a tale of traveling to see defensive back Will Likely in Belle Glade, Fla.
“I'm very, very fortunate to be sitting here after going down to recruit Will,” Edsall said of the four-star prospect, who signed with the Terrapins.
The story goes a little like this: Edsall and assistant coach Brian Stewart are driving in Florida and Stewart is navigating after putting Likely’s address in the GPS. However, after a couple turns, Edsall starts to believe the coaches are going the wrong direction.
"Believe me, I've been to Belle Glade many, many times. I've been to Pahokee many, many times out there and everything else. So we're driving,” Edsall said. “This is always one of those things: You go with an assistant coach and think 'OK, they've been there, they've taken the dry run, they know exactly where they're going.' All the sudden, we're driving and the GPS tells us to take a right here. I know that's not right because I've been down there.”
After traveling through the dark for awhile, the coaches happen upon a development and think they’re in the right place. They can’t see the numbers on the houses and call Likely to find out which house is his. At that point, the night takes a very strange turn.
"We're looking and sitting there for probably five, seven minutes and he said 'It's not there,' so we start to go. We're going to take a left and here comes a pickup truck in this development and they're staring at us like 'What the heck are you guys doing in here?' Then we have a car that comes up behind us and I said 'Brian, I think we ought to get out of here.'
"We go and take a left and the next thing you know, we have both of them on our bumper in this little development as we get out on thus highway. Brian says 'Randy, hold on.' So we come flying out of this development and take a right. The pickup truck tries to rear-end us. The other one tries to go outside of us. He says 'Call 911.'
"I'm calling 911 and I'm getting on the phone and I say 'I'm the head coach of the University of Maryland, I'm out here. I know where we're at. We're getting chased. I didn't do anything. We need a police officer to come out here and make sure nothing happens.' We drive two and a half, three miles with these people chasing us and finally we get to this light and Brian outran them a little bit and get to the light and took a right and they stopped following us.”
Seems pretty extreme for a neighborhood watch, don’t you think?
Eventually, after the two were nearly run off the road and left out in the Glades to die, they presumably get to Likely’s house to tell their tale. I’m sure Likely felt so bad he committed on the spot. Edsall left that part out, though.
This has got to be one of the stranger recruiting tales ever, but it makes for a good signing day story. I think we're all fortunate Edsall lived to tell the tale.
"That's the first time in 30 years I've ever been chased out of a development and chased down a highway trying to recruit somebody," Edsall said.
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