Another De Anza Prospect on BYU's Radar

Could the BYU coaching staff be looking to stock their defensive secondary once again from the junior college ranks? It seems that might be the case now that Coach Howell and his staff have targeted another De Anza College cornerback who is extremely high on BYU.

Eric Harris Jr. is entering his sophomore year at De Anza Community College as the Dons prepare to play their 2014 schedule. BYU Defensive Coordinator and Secondary Coach Nick Howell has taken early notice of Harris and let both he and his head coach know about it according to Harris.

“I’m around 5-10, 170-pounds and the last time I ran my forty it was a 4.5,” said Harris. “I haven’t ran it yet in college but if I did I think I could get a 4.47.

“Things are going really well and I spoke with Coach Howell about three months ago when he came out to De Anza [to visit]. He spoke to my coach and told him that he liked me. Then I spoke to him over the phone, and he told me he liked me and that I was a potential JUCO corner they’re looking to [sign for] next year.”

Last season Harris played his freshman year at West Valley College where he enjoyed much success. To further his visibility as a football player, he decided to transfer over to De Anza where he could better showcase his athletic abilities against better talent.

“Last year I [played at] West Valley College actually,” he said. “I wasn’t at De Anza. I had a pretty good season last year and finished the season with two interceptions, 35 solo tackles, five [pass] deflections, and actually missed three games after spraining my MCL. I ended up coming back the last two games, but it was a good season and I had fun. I just felt like I had to move to De Anza College to get into that bigger conference and play against better competition.”

BYU is the first major college to show interest in Harris, and for someone like Harris who has never received recruiting attention from a college like BYU the excitement is evident.

“Oh, man I love it!” stated an enthusiastic Harris. “It’s exciting. I’ve never really been recruited by a school that’s as respected and as big as BYU. It’s a well-respected university and I would love to play for a university like that to show my talents and effort. I’m hoping that I can turn some heads to I can make that a reality next season.”

Giving himself a self-evaluation, Harris’ abilities are wide ranged and varied. He can play cornerback but also double as a special teams player if needed.

“I bring a lot to the football field,” Harris said. “I kind of look at myself as a freak athlete, you know, because I can do so many things. My main position is cornerback, but I can do other things like return kicks and block field goals. I can do many things to help contribute to the team to help get that win. I’ll do whatever is needed to be done to help.”

The BYU coaching staff has plucked talented secondary athletes from the JUCO ranks in the past that will contribute heavily this season. Robertson Daniel will be a major contributor this season as well as Trent Trammell. The Cougar coaching staff has also received a verbal commitment from Khari Vanderbilt from San Jose City College, who Eric Harris knows personally.

“Khari, man, that’s my dude,” said Harris. “We’re really cool and he’s a great guy. What he’s said about BYU is he loves it and that’s what he wants. He’s kind of said he would love to have someone like me come out there with him and play. If things go right we could both go out there and do some really great things. He really likes the campus and university and BYU has a winning tradition. He said he really loves the coaching staff, especially Coach Howell. And I agree with him. Coach Howell is a great coach and one of the best, and I would love to play for him and the university as well.”

While Harris has blipped on the Cougar radar no official offer has been extended as of yet, similar to his teammate Thaddeus Philyaw III. Coach Howell and the staff is currently in the recruiting and evaluation stage as Harris has one more year of college ball left to play. However, he hopes his relationship with BYU will advance into something more permanent in the near future.

“They’re just kind of talking to me right now,” Harris said. “I haven’t seen anything too serious. I mean, I’ve been talking to Coach Howell from time to time. I get the recruiting mail and the love on Twitter and stuff like that. I haven’t [made] an official visit and stuff like that so far, so it’s just talk right now and I love it still. I’m hoping that it progresses even more so I can come out and take a visit. It’s exciting and I look forward to seeing what happens.” will monitor Eric Harris Jr. throughout the upcoming 2014 season and report on him with regards to BYU’s recruitment of him.

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