Despite being presented with his jersey for the 2016 Under Armour All-American Game Friday as part of the Selection Tour presented by American Family Insurance, Liam Eichenberg doesn’t understand the hype.
“My opinion of myself is I’m an average tackle, I just try to do everything right,” Eichenberg told USA TODAY High School Sports. “I don’t think I’m that special.”
The St. Ignatius (Cleveland, Ohio) left tackle may not think he’s that special, but he understands what it means to be an All-American.
“I’m excited to compete against and alongside the best players in the country,” Eichenberg said. “It was great to see my coaches and family all happy for me, it’s a great feeling.”
He also understands what playing against the best players in the country means…a rematch with Rashan Gary.
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Eichenberg played against Gary, the No. 1 player in the country according to the 247 Sports Composite Rankings, last year as a junior when he was injured.
“I’m looking forward to playing against him when I’m healthy,” said Eichenberg, who loves his position at left tackle.
“I just love the LT position. It’s one man trying to take someone’s will from them,” he said. “It’s one-on-one, and the better man always wins.”
Which prompts the question of: How often do you win?
“I win probably 99% of the time,” Eichenberg said laughing.
Watch out, Rashan.
The 6-6, 290-pound LT said he doesn’t pay attention to the national rankings, saying his sophomore year he gave up thinking about it when he was offered his first scholarship.
“If a college extends a scholarship, they want me and believe in me, so I don’t need rankings to tell me how good I am.”
Once Brian Kelly and Notre Dame extended an offer, that’s all Eichenberg needed. A Cleveland native, Eichenberg said his family was the main part of his decision. By staying in the Midwest, his family could see him play every game.
On top of that, the “best academics in college football” and his love for the campus and coaches made South Bend a no-brainer for Eichenberg.
Once he found where he could call home, he made his commitment, leaving the dreaded recruiting process behind.
“I hated the recruitment process,” said Eichenberg. “I had to call all these coaches and it took up a lot of time and I just didn’t want to deal with it.”
For now, all Eichenberg has to deal with is staying healthy ahead of his long-awaited rematch with the nation’s best.