Harrison commits to BYU

DeMarcus Harrison had to sift through more than 18 offers, but at the end BYU was the school he decided on. Growing up, BYU wasn't the first school he saw himself playing college basketball for. But after an official visit out to the school last month, he began to feel real comfortable with the environment, the players and the coaching staff.

"I just loved being there and everything about the place," said DeMarcus Harrison about his official visit that led to his commit. "Everyone was really friendly and it was great being with people that believed like I do. I really wasn't expecting to like BYU as much as I did, but I really felt at home out there."

Harrison is a 6-foot-5-inch combo-guard from Arden, North Carolina. He was hearing from some of the top programs in the nation, and before deciding on the Cougars he narrowed down his vast amount of offers to BYU, Marquette, Florida State and Clemson. He then eventually eliminated Marquette and focused on the three other schools.

"It was a really tough decision for me in choosing BYU," he said. "I really liked the other schools that were recruiting me, and like I said, I really didn't think BYU would be the one about a month ago, but that's all changed now and I'm very excited for the opportunities I'll have there."

During his visit to BYU, Harrison really took to the current or recent players on the roster, developing fast friendships with players such as Brandon Davies, Lamont Morgan and Kyle Collinsworth.

"They really helped me in my decision," he said about the player relationships he was able to forge. "I've never been teammates with guys who had the same beliefs I did, and I liked that [about BYU]. BYU's team, they're like family and I really want to be a part of that."

Harrison also has developed a strong liking and respect for BYU head coach Dave Rose.

"He's a real laid-back guy and real easy to talk to, that's what I like about him," he observed. "I know the battles he's been through with cancer and how he's had to fight, and that really makes you respect him. He's a great man and I know he's great coach who will help me grow as a player and as a person."

During a dinner with Coach Rose and the entire coaching staff and their families, Harrison really felt a kinship with them. He cited that dinner as being the highlight of his trip.

"I really left BYU feeling that it felt a lot like home with how nice everyone was and how we had the same beliefs," he commented. "BYU was a lot bigger than I thought, I mean, it's huge. It's a big-time program for sure with great players and great coaches."

There were still some hang-ups for Harrison, however, as he wasn't fond of BYU going to the WCC and playing in smaller arenas against some lesser-known opponents. However, those concerns and others were overwhelmed by the feeling he just had in his "gut" that BYU was where he needed to be.

"Every time I prayed about it or talked to my family, I would always get the feeling that BYU was the right place for me," he explained. "That's the biggest thing - how you feel - and that's what I felt. I still feel it, BYU is where I need to be."

Harrison will be looked at as an immediate replacement to Jimmer Fredette and the other guards that will be graduating after this coming year. Although his size dictates that he'll most likely be playing shooting guard or small forward, he and the coaches believe that he may even be able to lead the team from the point guard position.

"I handle the ball real well and yeah, I'd love to play point guard at BYU," he said. "I can really see a role for myself immediately there and that was a big reason for my decision too. I've really worked hard at being a well-rounded players. I can shoot, but I also can play good defense and I handle the ball well. I just want to help the team as much as I can coming in and hopefully take over for Fredette and what he does for the team my second year."

Harrison is LDS, but doesn't have definite plans to serve a mission.

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