2015 recruit: R.J. Harris

North Florida Christian (Tallahassee, Fla.) offensive lineman R.J. Harris is just beginning to pick up steam with his recruitment. Inside ECU Sports spoke with him about his offer from East Carolina.

ECU became the first to offer North Florida Christian offensive lineman R.J. Harris after his sophomore season. The Pirates remain the only program to have offered him so far.

"It felt great," the 6-foot-3 260 pound Harris said. "I'm working really hard so it's nice to see it pay off. I thought I had just an okay season and didn't think I'd get much recruiting activity. I suffered an injury, which is another reason why I didn't think I'd get an offer. It was an honor and a blessing, I just thank God for providing me the ability."

Harris tore his MCL with four games left in his sophomore season. He quickly rehabbed the knee so he could get back to his team for the playoffs. When asked about the injury, he said it feels great. He's just as explosive and actually increased his weight in squats and cleans after his recovery.

Figuring out about his offer from ECU was anything but conventional for Harris.

"I remember seeing a coach from ECU at my school one day and planned on talking to him at lunch," he said. "By the end of the day I realized I didn't get the chance. When I went to locker room at the end of the day my friend saw it on Twitter and told me I had been offered by ECU."

As far as knowing about ECU, Harris remembers an alumnus from North Florida Christian who currently plays for the Pirates. He also mentioned the future conference move for the school.

Drew Gentry is a junior offensive lineman at ECU," Harris said. "He played at my high school. I know (ECU) is in Conference USA and they are moving to the American Athletic Conference. That definitely sweetens the pot as far as recruiting, since they are raising the level of the competition."

Harris said he will hopefully make a visit to ECU in the near future.

"I still have to contact the coaches and figure it out when I should visit," he said. "I want to try and set something up because I just went to UNC Chapel Hill and I like it up there in N.C. I'll probably make it up there during my junior year."

Other schools have shown interest in Harris. He believes another North Carolina school could be the next to offer.

"UNC Chapel Hill is the closest to offer," Harris said. "They should offer real soon, probably next time I contact them. Louisville has also shown interest and I'm going to Vanderbilt next week. I stay in contact with the N.C. State coaches and also have talked to Ole Miss. I recently got back from Clemson."

Despite playing offensive tackle and defensive tackle last season, Harris has been recruited heaviest on the defensive side of the ball.

"I am going to be a defensive end in college," he said. "I could play the three or five technique at tackle as well if I gain weight. I like the defensive side of the ball more."

Being a 6-foot-3 260 pound sophomore is extremely impressive. Harris didn't rule out the idea of him growing more before college.

"My doctor says I'll grow a little more," he said. "On the field I didn't realize I had the size so I tried to use my quickness. During the spring I used my weight more and played physical. I had a really good spring game."

Harris is working hard to improve his game so he can get more offers after junior year.

"I am trying to work on quicker hands," Harris said. "Those are a big deal for defensive lineman; if you can get in the offensive lineman's chest first you win the battle. I'm also working on getting more hip flexibility so I can get around the edge quicker."

Making his commitment is a good ways away, but Harris has a plan in mind. He mentioned that if everything goes well he'll commit by the start of senior year and graduate early.


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