PINE BLUFF — Dollarway High senior Joshua Liddell signed his national letter of intent with the University of Arkansas on Wednesday inside the Dollarway Gymnasium, marking the first time a player under head coach Cortez Lee has signed with the Razorbacks.
“It is huge,” Lee said. “It gives all the other young men who play sports here to see a model of a young man that exemplifies leadership.
“Josh works hard and has a great attitude. He is just a great example for all student-athletes here at Dollarway to strive for.”
As a senior, Liddell led Dollarway to an undefeated regular season and to the semifinals of the 4A state playoffs.
“I’m going to represent my school, my football team and my coaches,” Liddell said. “It means a lot to me and it is very special to me.”
Liddell said signing with Arkansas is a huge honor.
“I will be very humble about it and I will work hard to try to represent our school the best way I can,” Liddell said.
As quarterback for the Cardinals, Liddell rushed for 1,202 yards on 100 attempts with 21 touchdowns. He was also 44 of 58 passing for 1,237 yards with 15 touchdowns and one interception.
He was named The Commercial’s Southeast Arkansas Offensive Player of the Year and was a Landers Award Nominee.
Liddell said he chose Arkansas because of head coach Bret Bielema and his coaching staff.
“It is very big for me,” Liddell said. “… I loved the campus and I loved the atmosphere.
“I loved everything about it. It was truly an amazing thing. It made pretty good sense to me.”
Liddell had originally verbally committed to Arkansas State but changed his mind after receiving the scholarship offer from the Razorbacks. He had also received late interest from Boise State.
“It has been wild; been kind of crazy,” Liddell said referring to the process. “I picked up a few others late. I’m glad it is finally over with it. It has been crazy.”
After leading Arkansas State to its third straight Sun Belt conference championship, first-year coach Bryan Harsin left to take the head job at Boise State.
“I was happy for him and his family and it is a great opportunity for him,” Liddell said. “I was glad for him but at the same time, I was sad to see him leave.
“I was looking forward to going up there with him and him being my head coach.”
Liddell said Arkansas will start him off at safety.
“Once I get that under control, they might move me to offense,” Liddell said. “Maybe running back or a receiver.”
As a free safety for Dollarway, Liddell had 24 solo tackles, 21 assists and 11 pass break ups and three interceptions this past season.