Richard Davenport covers recruiting for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. He is the host of Recruiting Thursday, a weekly radio show that airs from 7 to 8 p.m. on 92.1 FM in Fayetteville; 93.7 FM in Little Rock; 95.3 FM in Fort Smith; 96.3 FM in Hot Springs; 104.3 FM in Harrison/Mountain Home; and 106.9 FM in Arkadelphia.
Dollarway athlete picks Arkansas
Pine Bluff Dollarway High School's Joshua Liddell, 12, outruns Dallas Kerley, 34, of Gravette High School Friday, Nov. 25, 2011, at Lion Stadium in Gravette. The Cardinals of Dollarway won the game, 20-13.
Pine Bluff Dollarway athlete Josh Liddell orally committed to Arkansas on Saturday during his official visit.
Liddell, 6-1, 198 pounds, 4.43 seconds in the 40-yard dash, chose the Razorbacks over scholarship offers from Boise State, Arkansas State, Memphis, Louisiana-Monroe and others. He committed to Arkansas State last July but reopened his recruiting recently after receiving an offer from Arkansas on Jan. 16.
Arkansas Coach Bret Bielema and tight ends coach Barry Lunney Jr., his lead recruiter, extended an offer while visiting Liddell’s school.
“It’s a great school, and they have a great program and they have great coaches,” Liddell said. “It’s a good opportunity. I liked the talk I had with Coach Bielema and my conversation with Coach Lunney. I talked to my mother and my coach and they feel like the best program for me is Arkansas.
“They had a bad year last year, but I can tell it’s a program that will get better each and every year.”
Liddell played quarterback and safety at Dollarway. He rushed 112 times for 1,278 yards, 21 touchdowns and completed 44 of 58 passes for 1,257 yards and 15 touchdowns on offense; Liddell recorded 24 unassisted tackles, 21 assisted tackles, 3 interceptions and 5 pass breakups on defense.
He said the Razorbacks are recruiting him as a safety or a running back.
Liddell participated in Arkansas’ two summer camps in an effort to earn a scholarship offer.
“It’s a big accomplishment for me,” he said. “It means a lot to me.”
Dollarway Coach Cortez Lee said Arkansas is lucky to get Liddell.
“They’re getting a first-class individual with an incredible work ethic,” Lee said. “He takes pride in his academics. His skill set is real high.”
Liddell is Arkansas’ 18th oral commitment. Oral commitments are nonbinding.
Arkansas also signed two junior-college prospects in December.
Sports, Pages 29 on 01/26/2014