A.J. Liddell talks open recruiting

A.J. Liddell decided to make two fresh starts this fall. First, Liddell's family moved from the Douglasville, Ga. area where he was attending Chapel Hill High School. He enrolled at Westlake in Atlanta and just played his first game with the Lions. He also dropped his commitment to Maryland and has opened up his recruiting. Read what he says of Vanderbilt and more..

"It was Westlake's fifth game, but my first after the transfer," said A.J. Liddell. "We were the first to put up 35 [points] on Stephenson. I had three catches, one for a 50 yard touchdown. It went pretty good, even though we lost."

Liddell was an All-Region (Georgia AAAA-Region 5) performer at Chapel Hill as a junior. He set school records with receptions on the season, longest kickoff return, and punt return yards in a game. Recruiting attention began for Liddell after his sophomore season.

"Tennessee came to the school and told me they were going to start recruiting me," Liddell said. "My first offer came from Georgia Tech soon after that. Currently, I have eight offers. Vanderbilt, Maryland, and UConn are the schools recruiting me the hardest."

Liddell made a commitment to Maryland in June. Although he de-committed in mid-September, the Terrapins remain in the mix. SEC schools, Vanderbilt and UGA (although yet to offer), have been coming on strong.

"I haven't set up my official visits yet," said Liddell. "I'm probably only going to make one or two and begin weighing my options.

"Getting my education is my top priority. I want to walk out of college with a degree in my hand so I can get a good job. I love competition. Going up against the best brings out the best in me, so the depth chart doesn't matter. I'm game to go anywhere as long as I like the place."

A 6-foot-3.5, 190-pound wide receiver, Liddell ran a 4.53 40-yard dash at a camp in Marietta, Ga. during the summer. As a senior he feels confident that when the ball is in the air, it's going to be his.

"When I jump to go up for a ball I'm coming down with it 90-percent of the time," said Liddell. "I love it when the cornerback presses me. I can get off a press and get wide open 100-percent of the time. My greatest strength is my ability to catch the ball. If I get my hands on the football I'm going to hold on and make the catch."

The Lions hope to break a three game slide when they take on Newnan High School on October 7th. Liddell found out his No. 12 was one of the six retired jersey numbers at Westlake and wears No. 89 for the Lions.

"I just want to help the team make it far in the playoffs," Liddell said of his senior season. "It's always been a goal of mine to win the Gatorade Georgia Player of the Year. I know it's going to take a lot of work, but I think I can do it."

Liddell says he probably won't make a decision on college until later in the season. He reports a 3.0 GPA and says things are "going smooth" in the classroom. He hopes to study Business or Computer Information Systems in college.

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