Liam Clifford's high school coach called him "arguably the best football player to come out of St. Xavier High School." That's quite a statement, considering Clifford's older brother Sean, the Penn State quarterback, also played at St. Xavier.
But Liam Clifford, who signed last week with Penn State's 2021 recruiting class, certainly earned the high praise in a 72-catch season that saw him win an Ohio state title, the Division I offensive player-of-the-year award and a spot on the SI All-American Team. Clifford, named to the honorable-mention team, is the only player in Penn State's 2021 recruiting class to be recognized as an SI All-American.
Clifford finished the season with 1,090 receiving yards and 19 touchdowns, high-pointing the year with a 12-catch, 300-yard game against rival St. Ignatius.
He broke several records at St. Xavier, including career receptions (166) receiving yards (2,538) and receiving touchdowns (30). His 300-yard game also set a school record. Clifford made 149 of those catches in his last two seasons at St. Xavier.
Clifford is part of a 2021 receiving group that Penn State coach James Franklin called quite promising.
“Liam Clifford is arguably the best football player to come out of St. Xavier High School," coach Steve Specht said in a Penn State release. "More important, he is a quality human being who cares deeply about people and leaving situations better than he found them. As good as he is as a football player, he is a better leader and person. We were blessed to have had Liam at St. Xavier."
Check out all the players recognized on the SI All-American team.
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