The Recruiting Battle Continues

A big and fast lineman says he is still looking at the Tigers.

Memphis, Tenn.--Defensive tackles who run like linebackers, weigh 300 pounds and can do standing flips are not exactly the kind of recruits college football coaches run across everyday.

LaRon Harris, a 6-3, 305-pounder from Kingsbury High School, fits that description. That obviously explains the fuss.

It also is probably why Auburn is still battling to sign the big guy, even though he announced at his school on Thursday that he planned to sign with Tennessee. Prior to doing that, he had mentioned that Auburn and Arkansas were his co-favorites and the Vols had dropped off the pace.

"I am committed, but...," he told Inside the Auburn Tigers when asked if he is still looking at other colleges. "That (Knoxville) was just my favorite place, but not by a longshot," he added.

When asked if Arkansas still has a chance to win his signature on scholarship papers that can be signed on Feb. 6th, Harris said, "Arkansas is out of the picture." When asked if Auburn still has a chance, he said, "Yes sir."

Harris is a four-year starter on defense and almost a four-year starter on offense, breaking into the lineup as a ninth grader on that side of the ball when a teammate was injured. The 305-pounder played the last half of his senior season as a rather imposing middle linebacker.

Harris says that he believes that defensive tackle will be his best position in college with his quick feet and 40-yard dash times in the 4.9s. The Tigers, who are looking for some top recruits at the defensive tackle spots, are definitely recruiting him for defense.

Harris admitted he had major concern about Tennessee's intentions to play him on offense and that is why he downgraded his interest in the Vols earlier this month after visiting UT Jan. 11th-13th, the weekend before coming to Auburn. When the UT coaches realized that were losing the Memphis star, they went into damage control mode and did a song and dance number that would have made Fred and Ginger proud.

It is not hard to understand why the Volunteers would be interested in Harris as an offensive tackle or guard. He was a dominating blocker who has a rare combination of quick feet, size and strength.

"I was just kind of confused because they had the offensive line coach talking to me," Harris said, discussing his official visit to the UT campus in Knoxville. "I came to find out he was just talking to me that weekend because he didn't have a lot of recruits in that weekend. I think there was like one offensive line recruit in that weekend."

When asked when he expected to see the Auburn coaches back in Memphis to visit him, he said, "I expect them in sometime this week."

When asked what percentage he would put on the probability that he will sign with the Volunteers or the Tigers, Harris said, "I am really not sure. I am just glad to get it down to where I am comfortable. When I committed to Tennessee, pretty much everybody else backed off except for Auburn so I see now that they really want me."

Tiger Ticket Extra: Harris helped Kingsbury High School post an 8-4 record and advance to the second round of the state Class 3A playoffs...Harris, who bench presses 415 pounds, is not a muscle-bound athlete by any stretch of the imagination. He entertained other recruits on his official visit to Auburn Jan. 11th-13th by doing flips from a standing position...Harris attended an Auburn summer football camp prior to his senior season and says that is where he began developing a good relationship with the Tiger coaching staff, particularly Terry Price, the defensive ends coach who recruits the Memphis area.

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