ASU makes positive strides with Harry

Arizona State helped its cause during an on campus unofficial visit with Chandler High four-star wide receiver N'Keal Harry, one of the top prospects at the position in the West.

Todd Graham runs his Arizona State program with a strict adherence to a daily schedule that is detailed to the minute. He made an exception to that Saturday though, and understandably so.

On the third floor of the Carson Student Athletic Center, reporters were kept waiting nearly 30 minutes past the scheduled start of ASU's Media Day in the Dutson Theater while Graham was about a hundred feet away, out of sight in his office in an important meeting.

"Well, first of all, I want to apologize for being a few minutes late," Graham said. "But I had a really, really good receiver that I needed to talk to. You guys (media) don't have a lot of eligibility, play-maker ability, so apologize for that. Coaching is a little overrated sometimes. You need good players."

Coaches are prohibited by NCAA rules from discussing recruits by name until they've signed with the program, but Chandler High School four-star wide receiver N'Keal Harry said he was the recruit meeting with Graham.

Harry, the No. 1 wide receiver prospect in Arizona's 2016 class and No. 155 overall prospect, hadn't spent as much time getting a feel for the ASU program as he wanted to and felt that needed to change.

"I got to see some of practice," Harry said. "I loved how they ran it and just had an overall good day. Some of the stuff I'd never done before at ASU, so it was great. I love the way (wide receivers) coach (Del) Alexander coaches the receivers, breaks everything down. I love how coach Graham runs the program overall. He basically said the way he runs the program is built on character and team and nothing is easy and to get to where I want to be I'm going to have to sacrifice a lot of things but that it will be worth it."

The No. 6 wideout in the West, Harry has a similar size and athleticism to former ASU All-American wide receiver Jaelen Strong, at 6-foot-3 and 210 pounds. At the high school level, he's a man among boys.

"They want me to come in and play that same role as Jaelen played," Harry said of the boundary wide receiver position. "Me and the coaches think I can fit that role pretty well."

"I just wanted to be able to see everything it has to offer, make sure that my grandmother could see it because she's very close to me. I wanted her to see if she felt like she could see me going there. She said she really likes the way they run the program too. That was big for me to hear that.

A comfortable component of the ASU option for Harry is that he could possibly reconnect with quarterback Bryce Perkins. The two players, along with Chase Lucas, who also visited ASU Saturday, helped lead Chandler to its first Division I state championship since 1949 in November.

One of the most heavily recruited players in West, Harry released a Top-10 of ASU, Arizona, Louisville, Oregon, Oregon State, Texas, Texas A&M, UCLA, USC and Washington several weeks ago and hasn't narrowed his focus further quite yet.

"The only official visit I've set is Texas A&M when they play Alabama," Harry said. "Other than that, I'm waiting to talk with (Chandler coach Shawn) Aguano and figure out the rest of my schedule. I do think I'll probably take all five. I would like to. I think it's important with the decision for me."

ASU and some of Harry's other top suitors are also pursuing his two close friends, Lucas and Saguaro athlete Byron Murphy. The three are arguably the top overall recruits in Arizona's 2016 class. There's been a lot of talk about the three possibly playing together in college, and Harry admitted it's a heavily discussed topic.

"We talk about it almost every day to be honest with you," Harry said. "It's something we would love to do. Hopefully it's something where we are all kind of feeling great about some of our options or at least one of them and it makes sense to us as we get into talking about it more seriously."

Harry said staying home and playing for the Sun Devils is a very legitimate possibility, but he won't be pressured by the location or feel a sense of obligation due to being a prominent local prospect.

"It's not huge" Harry said. "I'm going to make my decision on what I think is the best fit for me, but it's cool to see how much interest they have and that they're going to do what it takes to show me how much they care about me. They definitely do a good job with that part of it. But it's a good option just on its own, no matter where it is. I would like ASU even if it wasn't the local school."


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