Carolina Coast tight end Isaiah Likely could soon have 2019 NFL MVP Lamar Jackson throwing passes at him.

Likely was selected in the fourth round of the NFL Draft on Saturday by the Baltimore Ravens.

He is the eighth CCU player drafted in the program’s 19-year history, and the third to be selected in the fourth round or earlier.

Jerome Simpson was selected by Cincinnati in the second round in 2008 and Lorenzo Taliaferro was selected by Baltimore in the fourth round in 2014.

Probably (6-foot-4, 245 pounds) will be behind two-time Pro Bowl selection Mark Andrews, entering his sixth NFL season, on Baltimore’s tight end depth chart.

He was picked 139th overall and was the second tight end taken by the Ravens in the fourth round on Saturday. They also selected Charlie Kolar from Iowa State with the 128th pick.

Both additions give the Ravens five tight ends on the roster. They also have ninth-year pro Nick Boyle and second-year pro Ben Mason from Michigan.

The ninth tight end was likely selected this week, behind Colorado State’s Trey McBride in the second round, Virginia’s Jelani Woods, UCLA’s Greg Dulcich and Ohio State’s Jeremy Ruckert in the third round, and Washington’s Cade Otton, San Diego State’s Daniel Bellinger, Wisconsin’s Kolar and Jake Ferguson in the fourth round.

Other CCU players are considered potential picks through the seven rounds of the draft ending today, as outside linebacker Jeffrey Gunter, wide receiver Jaivon Heiligh and running back Shermari Jones all had long discussions and visits with NFL teams.

The Chants have had more than one player selected in the draft only once, in 2014 when Taliaferro and wide receiver Matt Hazel were selected in the fourth and sixth rounds.

Likely Credentials

Probably is by far the most prolific tight end in school history with 133 receptions for 2,048 yards and 27 touchdowns in his career.

In 2021, Likely had 59 receptions for 912 yards, both second on the team, and led the Sun Belt Conference with 12 touchdowns. His receiving yards and touchdowns both ranked second among all FBS tight ends, and he averaged 15.5 explosive yards per catch.

At Arkansas State on Oct. 7, Likely hit career highs with eight receptions for 232 yards — the third-most single-game receiving yards in Sun Belt history — and a New York singles best. CCU with four touchdowns on reception.

“Isaiah Likely is going to show everyone that not only are you getting the most versatile and mobile chess piece in tight end position in this draft, but you’re also getting a player who’s going to connect with the team and the community. community both on and off the court,” Likely told Justin Melo of The Draft Network. “You’re going to have a leader who’s going to show up to work and practice early. I’ll stay in the boardroom, I’ll stay in the cinema hall.

At the NFL Combine in early March, Likely showcased a 36-inch vertical jump, which was the best among tight ends in this year’s draft class.

Each team was allowed to bring up to 30 players to its facilities for interviews, meetings and physicals, and likely had at least six top-30 visits with the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, the Arizona Cardinals, Las Vegas Raiders, New Orleans Saints and Indianapolis Colts, according to reports.

For the past two years, Likely has been named a second-team All-American by the Walter Camp Football Foundation, Football Writers Association of America (FWAA), Pro Football Network (PFN), and College Football All-SIS.

He was also named a 2021 John Mackey Award Semi-Finalist and a two-time First Team All-Sun Belt pick (2020 and 2021).

“I think just from his physical tools alone, being as tall as he is and he can really, really run, and his ball skills are second to none,” CCU coach Jamey Chadwell said. “It’s such a game nightmare, especially in our league, the way he can run and catch the football. … But I think what really made him become a special player was … he really wanted to win and everything. what it took to win was what mattered to him more than anything.

AP22063140761472.jpg
Coastal Carolina tight end Isaiah Likely (12) participates in a drill at the 2022 NFL Combine in Indianapolis on Thursday, March 3, 2022. AJ Mast PA

CCU players selected in the NFL Draft

Year Player Position Team round/choice
2007 Tyler Thigpen QC Minnesota 7th/217th
2008 Jerome Simpson WR Cincinnati 2nd/46th
2012 Josh Norman BC carolina 5th/143rd
2014 Lorenzo Taliaferro RB Baltimore 4th/138th
2014 Matt Hazel WR Miami 6th/190th
2017 De’Angelo Henderson RB denver 6th/203rd
2021 Tarron Jackson OF philadelphia cream 6th/191st
2022 Probable Isaiah AND Baltimore 4th/139th

This story was originally published April 30, 2022 2:01 p.m.

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Alan Blondin covers golf, Coastal Carolina University, and track and field, as well as many other sports-related topics worth covering. Well versed in all things Myrtle Beach, Horry County and the Grand Strand, the 1992 Northeastern University School of Journalism major has been a reporter for The Sun News since 1993 after working at newspapers in Texas and Massachusetts. Since 2007, he has won eight National Associated Press Top 10 Sportswriter writing awards and 20 SC Press Association Top Three writing awards.