Prince George’s County competition rarely threw to the side of the field roamed by Gwynn Park cornerback Anthony Chesley, a display of respect that nevertheless frustrated the 6-foot, 165-pound speedster.
“He gets mad when they don’t throw his way,” Yellow Jackets Coach Danny Hayes said near the end of the 2013 season of Chesley, who committed to Coastal Carolina earlier this week.
The shunning was Chesley’s own fault; despite rarely seeing a football tossed within his hemisphere, the Gwynn Park cornerback picked off five passes during his senior season. Of attempted passes in his direction, opponents completed just two.
In the fourth quarter of his team’s eventual Maryland 2A South playoff win over Douglass, Chesley’s Yellow Jackets held a two-possession lead over the increasingly desperate Eagles. Douglass, led by a quarterback who’d marched his team to a state title game as a freshman, was forced to desperate passing measures. On a soaked field squished into cleat-sliding slop, the Eagles chanced two passes in Chesley’s direction. Unfazed and undeterred by his nonexistent footing, he intercepted both of them.
In other words, Chesley knows how to make the most of his opportunities. He says that’s exactly what he’s done in choosing to play his college football at Coastal Carolina. With offers from Towson and Toledo also available, Chesley opted to become the newest Chanticleer — and to spend his college career a Hail Mary away from Myrtle Beach.
“First of all, when we got there for the visit, the coaches greeted my family with love and respect,” Chesley said. “It felt like home. The coaches were cool, I agreed with the players, there was a bond. And I loved the campus as well, which sealed the deal.”
Chesley plans to major in exercise science, and said he was also drawn by the school’s facilities, which were outfitted with the most recent technology. He admitted the idea of having the beach so nearby didn’t hurt, either.
“The campus was beautiful,” Chesley said. “And also the area. The South Carolina area is very comfortable for me. Plus it’s five minutes from the beach. That sort of set it off for me. It’s right down the road.”
Football-wise, Chesley said that he hopes he can work his way into the lineup for what he describes as an up-and-coming Coastal Carolina team.
“They have great defensive backs, but they need some more,” Chesley said. “They’re young in the defensive backfield, and there’s a lot of commitment to increase the level of play.”
Chesley said he knows earning opportunities on a team with so much young talent will require a lot of hard work, something he believes he’s ready for thanks to his experiences as a Yellow Jacket.
“Gwynn Park’s coaching staff has helped me a lot. They’ve taught me about hard work,” Chesley said. “Going into college, hard work is very important. They’ve instilled in me dedication. Without that I wouldn’t be here right now.”