Despite missing much of his 2011 football season with a broken collarbone, 2012 athlete Bryan Harper is receiving quite a bit of attention from top programs in the west.
Harper, who claims he is completely recovered from the injury and back to 100%, recently reeled in his first offer, from Arizona State.
An athlete who grew up watching the Pac-12, Harper was happy to receive the verbal offer from a program that he has a great deal of respect for.
"I pay attention to all of the Pac-12 schools," he says. "I watched a lot of their games on TV. Last year they struggled a little bit, but I think this season they'll be back."
"I love the way they're doing things up there. They're doing a good job of getting some good athletes and I have a good relationship with the coaches; I'm in contact with the coaches probably every couple of days. I just love the way Coach Erickson runs things up there."
Harper was in attendance for ASU's Junior Day on April 2nd, and once again, he liked what he saw.
"The campus is beautiful," he recalls. "I love all their facilities and everything. I really felt a connection with the coaches. I know they do a great job."
He's a quarterback by trade, but Harper is being projected as a slot receiver at the next level. Some schools are also anticipating him at cornerback.
The Sun Devils are recruiting the 6-foot-1, 175-pound junior as an athlete. His lead recruiter is tight ends and special teams coach Jamie Christian.
His skill set has drawn interest on both sides of the ball, but Harper says that the position he's recruited at will not contribute as a key factor in his ultimate decision.
"I'm open to anything that puts me in a position to make plays," he explains. "I think defense best fits me, my body and everything, but I wouldn't mind playing on the offensive side of the ball, get the chance to score some touchdowns and all that."
"I just want to get there and do what I can do. Whether it's playing quarterback, receiver, or corner, I don't think it'll play a major factor as to where I commit."
As Scout.com has quickly discovered, Harper boasts a team-first mentality and the attitude of a winner.
"I just want to be in a good situation to win a National Championship," Harper says of what is going to be most important to him in choosing a program.
"That's going to be my biggest thing. I'm not really worried about playing early. If it's my time, then it is. If it's not, it's not. I just want to be in a good situation with my coaches, teammates, and like I said, be in a good situation to win a whole lot of football games; that's the main thing."
Showcasing talent on the field and displaying an ideal outlook, Arizona State is expected to be the first of several offers for the junior who is also receiving interest from schools such as USC, Oregon, UCLA, Utah, Washington, USC, and Boise State.
The versatile athlete has a busy summer ahead of him.
"I went to USC, I plan on getting up to the University of Arizona, and I have plans to go to Oregon on June 6th," Harper shares. "The rest I'm just trying to find time for, but I'm definitely going to take a lot of unofficial visits and I'm going to take all five of my official visits as well. I'll be all over the place."
Harper is hoping to find the school of his dreams during one of those visits, as he is eager to make a decision sooner than later.
"I would love to get it out of the way before the season starts," he says. "But if that doesn't happen, I wouldn't go as far as to say that I'm going to wait until Signing Day. I do want to make a decision and get it out of the way so I can enjoy my last year and worry about playing high school football."
In no particular order, Harper's current top five list features ASU, UCLA, USC, Oregon, and Arizona.
When asked about what skills he'll be bringing to the table, the gifted athlete described himself as an intense player. Reporting a 4.53 forty-yard time, Harper credits speed and length as his biggest strengths on the field.
"I play very fast. A lot of people that have watched my film would say that as well. I play very fast and I'm very explosive. I cover a lot of ground and take up a lot of space out there on the field."
At this point, Harper is focusing on improving the details of his game.
"I'm working on tightening my technique, because that's basically what football comes down to," he shares. "It's about who is more on top of their game. I'm working on my technique and all the basic things that lead to big things."