Maryland football coach Randy Edsall had never been chased out of a neighborhood by multiple people in pickup trucks while on a recruiting trip.
Well, until recently, anyway.
It's probably better to let Edsall take over from here on this tale straight out of "Deliverance" from his home visit to see defensive back Will Likely of Belle Glade, Fla.:
"I'm very, very fortunate to be sitting here after going down to recruit Will. We go down to West Palm Beach and I'm with coach [Brian] Stewart and we're going to drive out to Belle Glade to see Will that night. Brian punches in the address to Will's house.
"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. 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.
"So we're driving up this road and it's leading us toward Pahokee and I said 'Brian, I've been down here. I'm just telling you, where we're going isn't where we want to be going.' We keep driving and he says 'The GPS says it's right up here in a couple miles.' I said 'OK, I'm just telling you, this isn't the right way.'
"All it is is sugar cane fields. There's no lights. It's dark. It's 7, 8 o'clock at night. It's in December. I'm like 'This isn't right.' There's a railroad track there and alll the sudden there's this development and there's probably 10 houses. It's like 'OK, here it is.' Take a left. Take a right. There's a church and some nice homes there. You go down and take another left and he says 'It's on this street.'
"It's so dark out you can't even see the numbers on the houses and he's going real, real slow. I said 'Brian, I'm telling you, this is not right, you know?' So he gets on the phone --- true story --- and he says 'Will, is your address this?' 'Yeah.' 'Well, we're here. Which one is your house?'
"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.
"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."
--- Patrick Stevens