Harris To Impact CAA

Quiet and reserved, Rashanti Harris never sought the spotlight despite being a Top 20 prospect a year ago. On Friday, the news came down that this elite big man has found a home. It's a decision that will surprise many.

If you're just sitting down to have your morning coffee and read the newspaper, well, we've got a shocker for you.

Late Thursday night, Scout.com No. 17 (2008) overall prospect Rashanti Harris, committed to Georgia State.

According to Patterson Prep coach Chris Chaney, the 6-foot-9 Harris ended his recruitment after meeting with a few schools. "Coach Small came by practice and other schools were talking to him after practice. Coach Small sat down with him and after sitting down with him he committed. Coach Barnes called and we talked."

The young man who put a whooping on Greg Monroe and toed the line with Samardo Samuels last year at the City of Palms, is headed to the CAA. Teams in the league are on notice because this kid is going to be a problem for the posts in that league.

Chaney anticipates programs will continue to drop by the school and see Harris but they won't be granted access. As of Friday morning, Harris was a committed prospect to Georgia State. "I think they'll come in to see him but they aren't going to be able to sit down with him," Chaney said.

Georgia State relied on the most trusted recruiting technique of all time to get this one done: they worked a relationship.

"Rashanti, what people don't know, is that when Rod Barnes coached at Ole Miss, he was one of the first people to recruit him and follow him when he was in the 8th grade," Paula Wilson, Columbus Titans traveling team coach told Scout.com. "He had developed a relationship with him there. Coach Barnes would always call and developed a rapport with his parents. That was one of the main factors."

Wilson said Harris sought a smaller environment and Georgia State fit the bill. "Rashanti thrives in a smaller setting, not as far as basketball, but academics. The more one on one attention (the better).

"He wants that pressure to be the guy. He wants to make it. Personally, he played on a small AAU team – the Columbus Titans – and people were always trying to get him to switch over. Rashanti's a loyal kid. You can't ask for a better person than Rod Barnes. His reputation speaks a lot for him."

Harris' commitment is the third mid-major post pledge of the year. Earlier in the week, Aaric Murray offered a verbal to LaSalle. Last spring, Akron scored Zeke Marshall; both are Top 50 members of the Class of 2009.

Harris' physicality and attention to detail as a rebounder and tough guy have been noted. He was one of the most intimidating players in the Class of 2008. He didn't qualify and headed to Patterson for a post grad season where Arkansas and Memphis came to see him. Mississippi State was also slated to visit with him until the pledge to Georgia State.

Wilson said Harris knows that he can play in any league and if successful, he'll have options. "If you're good, they're going to find you wherever you are."

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