Gary Harris Visit Journal: Part I

Five-star shooting guard Gary Harris began his official visit tour with a trip to Purdue. The No. 12 ranked prospect in the country is documenting all of his official visits for with a journal following each trip. In his own words Harris chronicles his visit, his recruitment, and what is happening next.

The weekend started off on Friday night with my team's football game against Noblesville. We won 41-20. It was cold and I didn't play much in the second half because we were winning 41-6. Personally the highlight of the game for me was a 40 yard punt return. My dad says I got tackled by the punter, but in reality I ran him over and then I stumbled, and they caught me from behind. It was a nice punt return though. I had three catches even though they were bracketing me. I was the decoy for most of the game but we got the win, so that is all that matters.

On Saturday I had practice early in the morning. After practice we headed up to Purdue. My mom and I came up, and then my dad came up later after my younger brother's football game. As soon as we got in the car I fell asleep and then we got to Purdue, so that made it a quick ride for me.

Once we got there we checked into the hotel and met up with the coaches and went to go eat at Scotty's Brewhouse. I got to talk to the whole coaching staff and then ate with Terone Johnson and Anthony Johnson. We just hung out there watching some of the Saturday afternoon games talking and taking everything real casual.

After that we met with Tim Newton at the Krannert Business School and we discussed the different majors and how the classes are set up across the campus. We went on a sky walk and saw the whole campus. After that we went to the dorms.

They have nice dorms. There are two people to a room and then one bathroom connects to another room, so you are living with four people really. It is a lot of space, and the rooms are bigger than some of the others that I have seen, so that was good.

My dad finally got there after we had been there for about five hours. We got dinner at McGraw's, which is a steakhouse and seafood place on the river. It was a nice setup. The food was A+, and I am telling you we almost got full of the appetizers. I had the rib eye and it was real good. During dinner I talked to Robbie Hummel, Lewis Jackson, and Coach Jack (Owens). We all just had a real good time sitting there talking about what happens in college and their years at Purdue.

The coaches told me some of their old school stories about how they used to play football back in the day, and they have been playing basketball recently. It was just good times we had a lot of laughs.

Once we got to the football game on Saturday night it got real cold as soon as we sat down. I met up with Ronnie Johnson, Basil Smotherman, Jaquan Lyle, and Aaron Brennan, so I got to talk with the other recruits. We all had a good time talking hanging out, and then the game started. Notre Dame scored the second play they touched the ball so you could tell it was going to be a long night for Purdue. The atmosphere was good though. 61,000 fans came, it was sold out, and a night game, so it was a good atmosphere for sure. A lot of people were telling me "Boiler Up" and to go to Purdue as I was walking down the stairs because we left at halftime.

When we were walking down the stairs and when we were leaving I saw Carl Landry and I talked to him real quick. We talked about his time at Purdue and just how it is in the league and what it is like to play at the highest level. He seemed like a real cool dude.

Ronnie and I then met up with some of the players and just hung out and had a good time. We were all laughing, listening to music, and just having a good time. It gave me a chance to live the college life.

I am not going to lie we came back kind of late, but the next day I got up for breakfast and ate some omelets and pancakes, so that was a good way to start off my morning.

After breakfast we met with the academic advisor to talk about his plans for the players to make sure that they get the work done and make sure they get to classes. We had a good 45 minute talk, and my parents knew him so they were all reminiscing about the good old days as well.

Following our meeting with all the academic people we went and watched the players workout. It was a good and intense hour long workout. The players were going hard and going at each other. You could tell they were getting ready for the season.

From there we went to see the weight room and saw all the facilities. The new practice gym is really progressing, and now you can see how things are going to be. The weight room is top of the line. They have 360 degree cameras so you can see what you are doing right and wrong. Also we saw the court which is real nice. They have a new floor which is two-tone with the new logo in the middle, and then they have brand new seats in there. It all looks real nice. The locker room is a good set up with comfortable theatre seats in the film room, so I know they will be comfortable watching film.

Later we went up to the offices watched film of how they have played over the last two years and how they see me fitting in. They showed me what they did with E'Twaun (Moore), and how they get players open shots.

Purdue ended on a good note with Qdoba. We just ate Qdoba, talked, and had a good time before we said our goodbyes and we drove home.

This whole visit gave me a better insight of the school just from being around the players. I had been to games, and been in and out in a couple of hours, but this visit allowed me to see what the college life is like at Purdue. I got to see how the players interacted with each other. All the players get along, and they all seem to be close. That was surprising to see, because I know sometimes it isn't like that. Also they all liked what Coach Painter was doing, liked the classes, and they just gave me the full story and not just what the coaches tell me.

Purdue set the bar high. It was a really good visit. It is an official visit so obviously it is supposed to be better than an unofficial, but that was the most thorough visit I have had so far. In the limited time we had because of football we got everything in and it was very efficient. I could only do a Saturday-Sunday visit because of football, so I couldn't do the traditional 48 hours on the visit, but the coaches did a great job of showing me everything and showing me a good time.

Next up for me is October 15 which is Hoosier Hysteria. I know that is going to be crazy down in Bloomington. The fans down there are crazy about basketball, and I know that is going to be a big one. After that I have Michigan State on November 5, so I am really looking forward to getting up to Michigan State. Also I will definitely be visiting Kentucky. My family is working with the coaches to set up a date, but we will get down there and are in the process of setting it up.

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