David Harten is an online sports/preps and general assignment reporter. Originally from Louisville, Ky., he is a 2009 graduate of Western Kentucky University.
Dollarway’s Liddell ends whirlwind recruitment, signs with Arkansas
Flanked by teammates, Pine Bluff Dollarway athlete Josh Liddell (center) waits at a signing ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 5, 2013, in the Dollarway High School gym. Liddell signed with Arkansas.
Josh Liddell’s process of signing with Arkansas took all of 10 days. Now, he's officially a Razorback.
The Pine Bluff Dollarway athlete signed with the university early Wednesday morning — Arkansas made it official in a tweet from the football program’s official account — but Liddell held a signing ceremony at 3 p.m. in Dollarway’s gym to celebrate with friends, teammates, family and fans.
Liddell’s recruitment was far from the average prospect's courtship. Six weeks ago, Liddell held a few small school offers, including Arkansas State, when he jumped from a three-star recruit to a four-star recruit on some recruiting websites. Soon after, offers from Boise State and Georgia came before he decided on Arkansas.
In a way, Liddell said, the quick recruiting process was a blessing. Because the interest from high-level programs came so late, he didn’t have to endure the massive amount of phone calls, text messages and letters that the average high-major recruit gets over the course of their career.
“It’s been crazy,” Liddell said.
Despite having seen some interest from the Hogs recently, Liddell didn’t get a scholarship offer from Arkansas until about two weeks ago. However, once coach Bret Bielema extended the offer, the 6-foot-1, 198-pound Liddell quickly committed on Jan. 25.
Liddell impacted the Cardinals last season in a variety of ways, rushing 112 times for 1,278 yards and 21 touchdowns while also completing 44-of-58 passes for 1,257 yards and 15 more scores. On defense, Liddell finished the season with 45 total tackles and three interceptions, helping Dollarway to a Class 4A state semifinal appearance.
Liddell said the coaches plan to start him at safety when he arrives on campus, but they may move him to the offensive side of the ball, possibly receiver or running back, as he progresses.
See full coverage of National Signing Day events in tomorrow’s Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.