FOXBORO - Former New England Patriots players continue to make their presence felt across the football world.
In the United States Football League's inaugural season, Houston Gamblers cornerback Will Likely was recently named to the league's All-USFL Team.
Patriots fans will remember Likely as a promising Maryland Terrapins cornerback and special teams prospect that was signed by the team as an undrafted free agent prior to training camp in 2017.
With the Terrapins, Likely set multiple school records including the single-season interception return yards record in 2014 (170 yards), single-season pick sixes (2, 2014), single game kickoff and punt return yards (228 yards vs Michigan State in 2014 and 233 yards vs Richmond in 2015 respectively), and the longest kickoff return average in a season (31 yards, 2014).
Despite showing some signs of potential in the preseason, Likely wasn't able to find his way onto the 53-man roster and was waived following that year's preseason during final roster cuts.
A major reason for Likely's inability to find a home in New England was likely due to the relative strength of 2017's UDFA class. The team had five future NFL starters in defensive tackle Adam Butler, wide receiver Austin Carr, tight end Jacob Hollister, linebacker Harvey Langi, and future Pro Bowl cornerback Kenny Moore.
Since his time in Foxboro, Likely spent time with the Toronto Argonauts and Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the CFL, and the DC Defenders in the XFL before he was drafted by the Gamblers in the 9th round of the 2022 USFL Draft.
With Houston, Likely has recorded four interceptions (third highest in the USFL), 63 tackles, and 110 punt return yards.
Likely's Gamblers finished the season with a record of 3-7. Despite that, Likely has continued to be a bright spot for the defense in its first year.