Meet the NEW Devils: Joe Giles-Harris

Signing Day profile of the Duke's three star linebacker commitment

Joe Giles-Harris
Montvale (N.J.) St. Joseph Regional HS
No. 8 OLB in East Region, Three stars
Committed on June 5, 2014

Vitals: 6-foot-1, 215 pounds

Recruitment: For a while Harris was the biggest commitment on the board after picking Duke over a slew of offers including Wisconsin, Virginia, West Virginia, Maryland, Arizona State, Boston College, Northwestern, Illinois, NC State, Syracuse, and Temple.

So what turned the trick for the talented linebacker?

"I'm an academic kid, and I was raised like that," Giles-Harris said. "I came out of the womb with my mom and dad (saying) if there are no academics, there are no sports. That was the big thing.

"The second thing was, ‘Am I going to like it there? Am I going to like the area?' And I did. I loved it. The fact the football team started winning …they have a great system there, the coaches are good, and that's just a plus."

Harris-Giles, who was approaching double digit offers, visited Duke in March and the feeling he experienced never left him.

"I just felt comfortable with everything," he said. "It felt like it was the best option for me, and it was just a gut feeling. I like there a lot, and I couldn't say anything wrong about it. The coaches, the campus, the academics, it was all crazy and I thought I might as well get this done know so there's no distractions during football season."

It also helped that Giles-Harris' younger brother, J.T., is already committed to play lacrosse at Duke.

Early Impact: Giles-Harris moved from outside linebacker to the inside position for his high school team and believes that move will allow him to factor in early in Duke’s 4-2-5 scheme. He’s better against the run than the pass at this stage and will need a year to redshirt to adjust to the speed and size of the college game. If he does avoid a redshirt season, which is possible, it’ll be because he’s factoring in on special teams.

Scout Take: He’s moved from the defensive back field to outside linebacker to inside linebacker as he’s gotten bigger and stronger. Like many safeties who translate to linebacker, Giles-Harris is very aggressive and seems to translate that into some big hits. He’s improved at being a down hill rusher, getting into the opposing backfield against the run and the pass.

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