More national recognition came Thursday for Muscle Shoals’ Dee Liner.
The senior defensive lineman is one of four players in the state to be named to the USA TODAY’s All-USA high school football team.
Liner, an Auburn commitment, is a first-team selection on the list that is designed to honor the country’s top seniors. Auburn High School linebacker Reuben Foster, Huntsville offensive lineman Grant Hill and Hoover defensive back Marlon Humphrey also made the first team.
“Ah, that’s a good one,” Liner said after learning Thursday evening of his inclusion on the team. “I didn’t even know about it but those are some good players to be mentioned with.
“It’s all been a dream come true. This makes it even more special.”
Liner already has been selected for the Under Armour All-America Game. The game, along with the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, is one of the two highest profile events designed to showcase the top high school seniors in the country.
Liner will play with his friend Foster, who recently decomitted from Auburn University, in the Under Armour Game. The game will be nationally televised by ESPN on Jan. 4 at 4 p.m. from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla.
On Dec. 30, Liner will travel to Orlando, where pre-game preparation is staged. He also traveled there last year for the Under Armour combine, which evaluates some of of the nation’s top projected juniors.
“I’m kind of expecting more competition this time,” Liner said. “It will be the best of the best from all over the United States.”
Liner also has a visit to the University of Miami tentatively scheduled for Jan. 18, but he said he’s not certain whether he will take it.
Rated a five-star prospect by recruiting websites Scout and Rivals, Liner is rated one of the top defensive lineman prospects in the country.
He totaled 72 tackles, 23 sacks and an interception for Muscle Shoals, which allowed 8.6 points a game this season and advanced to the Class 5 A semifinals.
He stands to gain more accolades. The TimesDaily will release its all-area teams this weekend. The Alabama Sports Writers Association’s all-state teams will be released Dec. 26.