Defender Looking At AU After Big Senior Season

This talented prospect from Florida showed his versatility this season by moving from defensive end to linebacker.

Pensacola, Fla.--A name that many recruiting fans might not be familiar with but is steadily moving up the charts for many schools is defensive end Billy Harrison from Catholic High.

A 6-4, 225-pound athlete with 4.6 speed in the 40-yard dash who could play as many as four different positions on the next level, Harrison's terrific senior season has garnered the attention from a wide variety of colleges. He tells Inside The Auburn Tigers that he has narrowed his choices to four schools with Auburn in the mix.

"I'm planning to visit South Florida, South Carolina, Auburn and Tulane," Harrison says. "South Florida is on the 3rd of January, Tulane is on the 10th, South Carolina is on the 17th and Auburn is on the 24th. All those schools have visited me. Coach (Terry) Price came by my house.

"Auburn is a school with a lot of tradition behind it. It's real close to home to where I live. It's a good team. Coach Price seems like a real good guy. He's a real honest guy. I think it would be good to be a part of that tradition."

A three-year starter for former Georgia Tech linebacker and Catholic High Coach Michael Smith, Harrison was a standout at both defensive tackle and end his sophomore and junior seasons before making the move to linebacker as a senior. Following a junior year when he had 85 tackles and eight sacks, Harrison says that he wasn't sure how the move would work, but after watching tapes of his former teammates and famous linebackers all summer, the move paid dividends.

Finishing the year with 123 tackles, six sacks and one interception, Harrison's play was one of the key reasons why Catholic finished the season 9-2 and the toast of the town. He also saw some action at tight end and caught two passes with one touchdown in limited action on offense.

"I had a real good senior season," Harrison notes. "This was the first time we've won a district championship in a decade. We really brought a lot of fans into the stands. The years before we didn't have a lot of fans and the football tradition was kind of down at our school. This year we turned things around. We had a really great season.

"I think I played well, but I believe there is always room for improvement. I did pretty well. My previous years I had played defensive line, but this year my coach decided to move me to linebacker. He did that so I would be freed up because a lot of times when I was down on the line I would get double and triple-teamed. He just thought I had the athleticism to be able to play up and I had the nose for the ball. I just had to get my techniques straight."

A basketball player his sophomore and junior seasons as well as a standout in track where he competes in the high jump, 200 meter dash and 4x100 meter relay, Harrison says that he hasn't decided if he's going to play basketball as a senior despite being one of the better players in Pensacola.

"I'm still thinking about it," he says of playing basketball. "I was trying to let all this recruiting stuff get over and then I'll decide."

Tiger Ticket Extra: Despite his athletic frame and ability to run, Harrison says his bench press is over 300 pounds. Not bad for a player with a personal-best high jump of six-foot-two and a time of 24 seconds in the 200 meter dash. The Tigers are recruiting Harrison as a defensive end while some schools are looking at him as a tight end.


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