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1-On-1: 'Nova WR Julian Liaci

Leader Johnson recently caught up with a true speedster - Villanova football signee, Julian Liaci. 'Nova Nation can get to know Liaci better in this exclusive interview for VUSports ...

Villanova 2017 Wide Receiver, signee, Julian Liaci is a dangerous weapon that Villanova can use to pose an offensive threat.  He is elusive in the open field with the ability to run past defenders with his blazing speed.  Liaci is no stranger to running.  He won a gold for Nazareth in the PA State AAA track and field championship's in the 4 x 100 meter relay.  He was first team All-Conference and All-Area honors and 2nd team All-State at Nazareth High School in Nazareth, Pennsylvania.  At 5'10 175 and with his speed, Liaci will be dangerous returning kick offs.

Leader Johnson: How did your high school do last year?

Julian Liaci: My high school was pretty good last year and we were able to qualify for districts with a 5-5 record. I definitely wasn't that satisfied with the record because some games slipped away from us that we should've won.

Leader Johnson: You are an explosive weapon how many touchdowns in all did you score last year?

Julian Liaci: I had a total of 11 touchdowns.

Leader Johnson: When do you think you are the most dangerous?

Julian Liaci: I feel that I am most dangerous in the open field due to my track speed.  When I get the ball I can make most defenders miss and beat them to the outside

Leader Johnson: This is a pretty impressive class what did you like about Villanova?

Julian Liaci: Overall I thought Villanova’s success really got my attention and the academics part.  I couldn't pass up on a great academic institution like Villanova nor a school with a great winning tradition in football.

Leader Johnson: What do you think about Mark Ferrante?

Julian Liaci: Coach Ferrante was the coach who recruited me the whole way through the recruiting process and I felt that he was very passionate about the game and someone who will help you become a better football player on and off the field.

Leader Johnson: What will be your role on this team?

Julian Liaci: Coaches have told me that I will be a big part of the return game and be able to work for some inside receiver reps.

Leader Johnson: What type of impact do you think you can bring to special teams?

Julian Liaci: I definitely feel that on Kick-off returns I could put our offense in good field position and give them a better chance to score on each drive. 

Leader Johnson: You at punt returner and Damone Drew at kick-off  returner what do you think of that combination?

Julian Liaci: I definitely like that combination a lot cause with both our speeds at top gear not a lot of guys will be able to touch us in the open space and we could win the special teams part of every game.  I will play kick return or punt return because whatever gets me on the field I will do it.

Leader Johnson: Where did you grow up and how is it where you are from?

Julian Liaci: I grew up in Nazareth, PA which is a very small town who loves their high school sports.  My high school is very known for there wrestling which is a national high school powerhouse. 

Leader Johnson: How long was Villanova recruiting you?

Julian Liaci: Villanova, if i can remember, was recruiting me around the middle of my junior year and then it really took off after my junior year track season.

Leader Johnson: Your mother and father - how have they been an influence?

Julian Liaci: I will admit I am most definitely a momma’s boy and she has sacrificed a lot for me over the years and means the world to me and has taught me many lessons of staying humble.  My dad has also taught me on staying on the grind and not letting certain things get in the way of your dreams.  I'm very thankful to have both of them in my life because I wouldn't be in this position without them. 

Leader Johnson: What player in the program has taken you under their wing and how close are you with the rest of the recruiting class?

Julian Liaci: When I went on my visit I stayed with Changa Hodge who was able to start as a freshman.  He spoke to me a lot about work ethic and how if I work I can accomplish things he did his first year at Villanova.  The recruiting class we have is very close and we speak to each other everyday in our group message.  It almost feels like I know every guy and definitely can't wait to spend the next four years with them.  Damone Drew will also be my roommate for my first year. 

Leader Johnson: Tell me about your gold medal at Shippensburg in the 4 x 100 relay and how many other track awards do you have?

Julian Liaci: The 4x100 finals was easily my greatest accomplishment of all time but it's also hard to remember it even happened.  I sometimes have to go back and watch the tape to remind myself what had happened.  It was a great feeling though and to earn that with three of my close friends was even better.  My other track awards are the 2017 EPC 100m gold and the 200m gold.  I was able to come just shy of breaking my region record with a 10.67.  This year I will be looking to earn my first 200m gold at districts and to go for a three-peat in the 100m at districts.

Leader Johnson: What made you want to play football and how long have you been playing?

Julian Liaci: I have always wanted to play football since I was about five when I started playing flags.  It is the greatest sport in the world and it just allows me to get away from everything else going on.  Football has almost became a puzzle to me and I like to figure out different ways of beating defenses and picking up different skills to become better.

Leader Johnson: Who do you compare your skills to in the NFL - if you had to match a player with your skills?

Julian Liaci: I think I would have to match my skills with Tavon Austin or DeSean Jackson which are two guys who aren't the biggest but are able to stretch the field with speed and get over the top of defenses.

Leader Johnson: What is your outlook for the team this year?

Julian Liaci: My outlook for the team is first of all just beat Lehigh which is very close to home and the opening game for us.  Then it is to go on and win the CAA.

Leader Johnson: Great talking to you.  Julian good luck this season.

Julian Liaci: Thank you very much!

If you want to get a preview of his speed - watch Liaci run the anchor leg for Nazareth as they take the 4x100 relay PA State AAA title - focus on lane four as he takes the baton and jets from behind to cross first: LINK


Here is that explosiveness in action on the gridiron: LINK 

 


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