By: Logan Newman, USA TODAY High School Sports | November 8, 2018
Brayden Liebrock’s goals for this season revolve around the last decade of football in the city of Chandler, Ariz.
He has achieved one already: On Thursday, the Chandler High School tight end received his Under Armour All-American jersey.
“It’s definitely a dream come true, I’ve been dreaming about this since I was a little kid,” Leibrock said.
The dream suddenly seemed much closer in Jan. 2016, when then-teammate and now-Arizona State wide receiver N’Keal Harry played in the same game. The two still talk and Liebrock will send him an occasional “good luck” message.
“I watched that (Under Armour game),” he said. “That was one of my big goals, was to play in this game.”
The other goal has been taking shape over his high school career: He is aiming for his third straight championship with Chandler High. It’s a family matter.
“My brother played at our rival school, Hamilton, and he got three in a row,” Liebrock said. “I gotta get that, that would be a huge thing for me and my team.”
His brother, Mike Liebrock, was part of a Hamilton High School (Chandler, Ariz.) team that dominated the Arizona high school football scene and won three straight tiles from 2008 to 2010. The Huskies beat Chandler every year over the first 17 matchups of Hamilton’s existence, including a 2009 state semifinals win over the Brett Hundley-led Wolves team.
Mike graduated in 2010. Since, the tides have turned, with Chandler winning the last six matchups between the schools and becoming the premier team in the 6A conference.
Liebrock has been a large part of this turnaround that has Chandler sitting in the USA TODAY High School Sports’ Super 25. With 45 catches for 570 yards and six touchdowns, he plays a key role in the Wolves’ passing attack is also a capable blocker.
“It’s just a mismatch problem,” he said. “With defenses, you spilt out, they try to put like a corner or a safety on you and you’re too big, but then when they put a linebacker on you, they’re too slow.”
The 6-foot-5, 214-pound TE will take those abilities to Texas, where he committed in May. Liebrock is ESPN’s No. 2 tight end in his class and the No. 6 player in Arizona.
“It was definitely just the school that I felt the most comfortable when I walked on campus. It just felt like at home as soon as I got there,” Liebrock said. “The coaching staff and players, they’re all just really good dudes and so I fell in love with the place right when I got there.
The Under Armour All-America Game is scheduled for Jan. 3 at Camping World Stadium in Orlando, Fla. and will be televised live on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. EST.