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Coastal Carolina tight end Isaiah Likely to be selected in NFL draft today

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Former MHS record-setter expected to be first local pro football selectee since 2007

  For the first time in over a decade, a former Malden High School standout is expected to hear his name called while the National Football League conducts the annual player draft this week. Coastal Carolina tight end Isaiah Likely, a former record-setting Malden High wide receiver and Malden Pop Warner football standout, is projected as high as a second- or third-round pick in today’s draft. The NFL Draft’s first round was held yesterday and Likely, a 6-4, 245 lb. prospect, has been projected as anywhere from the 40th to 60th pick, depending on what team is selecting.

  Some draft predictors had Likely being a potential draftee of either of the two New York teams, the Jets or Giants, or even the local New England Patriots. If, as expected, Likely is selected in the draft today, he could be the highest round draftee in Malden High School history and just the third NFL draftee from MHS ever, following former Houston Texans and Seattle Seahawks Super Bowl winner, offensive lineman Breno Giacomini, a 2004 Malden High graduate, and Dan Jones, a 1988 MHS grad from UMaine who played for the Cincinnati Bengals for several seasons in the mid-1990s.

  Malden High has had more players selected in the NFL draft than any other school in the Greater Boston League in the past 30 years with three. Only Everett has had other players selected (one).

  Likely was one of the most electrifying players in college football the past two seasons, helping propel the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers into the national spotlight. For the first time in program history, Coastal was ranked in the Top 20 in the 2020 season and this past season, 2021, started off the Top 20 and stayed there for virtually the entire season. Likely attended the Reese’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, and also received an invite to the NFL Scouting Combine.

  One of the core pieces of Coastal Carolina’s path to the top of their conference, Isaiah Likely didn’t come onto campus as a big name. Likely played three seasons of his high school football career at Malden High School, leading the Golden Tornados to Thanksgiving wins in his freshman, sophomore and junior seasons. He played one season at Everett High. At Malden High, Likely played two seasons under former Head Coach Joe Pappagallo and one under former Head Coach Bill Manchester. Likely also was a standout in Malden Pop Warner football with several stellar seasons.

  Likely was not heavily recruited out of Everett High following his senior year, and was ranked by 247Sports as a two-star recruit and not ranked nationally. Likely received offers from eight programs, including Bethune-Cookman, Bryant, Central Connecticut State, UMass, Rhode Island, Sacred Heart and Southern Miss. When Coastal Carolina came knocking, it was the only national-level Division 1 offer Likely received, and he accepted it.

  At Coastal, Likely played all 12 games as a true freshman, recording 12 catches for 106 yards (8.8 yards per catch) and five touchdowns, which tied for the team lead. Likely got a bump in playing time in 2019, starting six games in 12 appearances and catching 32 passes for 431 yards (13.5 yards per catch) and five touchdowns, and he was named an All-Sun Belt third team honoree. Likely battled injuries throughout 2020 but still played in 11 games, leading all Sun Belt tight ends in receiving yards with 30 catches for 601 yards (20 yards per catch) and five more touchdowns, ending the year as an All-Sun Belt first-team selection. As a senior this past 2021 season, Likely caught 59 passes for 912 yards (15.5 yards per catch) and 12 touchdowns, was named All-Sun Belt first-team and was a John Mackey Award semifinalist as the top college tight end in the nation.

Former Malden High wide receiver Isaiah Likely hauled in a pass during his junior season in a win over Medford on Thanksgiving Day. (Courtesy Photo)
Malden High principal and likely
Former Malden High principal Ted Lombardi greeted Golden Tornados football standout Isaiah Likely outside the school during Likely’s junior year football season. (Courtesy/Malden Blue and Gold)

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