Harper: "Army liked my speed"

Kahlil Harper, out of Tulsa (Okla.) Union High School, was a big picked up for the Black Knights secondary on National Signing Day. The 6-foot-1, 175-pound defensive back emerged as a starter for the Redskins as a senior and came on strong late to land the Army offer.

"It was last November when I started talking with Coach Mumford," said Harper. "I was intrigued not only with the opportunity to continue playing ball but also what the Academy offers outside of football. I know that the military side isn't for everyone, but I think it will be worth it in the long run. I think it will be a great opportunity to better myself as a man."

In the third game of the season, Harper secured the starting position and went on to collect 44 tackles, one interception, and a forced fumble in 11 games.

"Army liked my speed," said Harper who ran a 4.41 40-yard dash at Oklahoma. "They told me I had a knack for getting to the ball at the right moment and playing well against opposing receivers. I felt like I got better knowing my role on the field and improved in zone coverage situations. After the season, I was named first team academic All-Conference."

Harper didn't commit to the coaches until a late January sojourn to West Point proved to convince him that he should play in Black and Gold.

"It was great to finally get out there to see West Point in person," Harper shared with ArmySports.com. "I took my visit the weekend of January 26-27. I loved spending time with Coach Coaxum. He stays on you and doesn't like to give you any presents. I think he's going to get the best out of me when I get there.

"My favorite part of the trip was just being on campus and seeing a great part of 200 years of history. I'm very excited to become a cadet and be a part of that outstanding tradition."

The first stop for Harper will be at USMAPS after graduation. This spring, he'll show off his speed and athleticism in the 400 meter dash and the long jump.

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