Higdon's Take: Jamie Harper

It is no secret that Head Coach Urban Meyer has been lobbying for a top-notch running back ever since his arrival in Gainesville. This could be the year that he finally gets his wish.

The Florida Gators need not look any further than Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian Academy, home of 6-0, 205-pound running back Jamie Harper.

Harper can run over you or by you with his 4.32 speed. Ranked No. 10 in the nation at the running back spot and four stars by Scout.com, you will be hard pressed to find a better back in the class of 2008.

Harper has incredibly quick feet and cutting ability. At Friday Night Lights he looked amazing. It looked as if from a complete stop he could hit top-end speed within three yards and cut on a dime if need be. He has everything you want your running back to have, vision, balance, blazing speed and explosiveness. Harper could easily add another 10-15 pounds, and if he were able to keep his quickness, he would remind me of dare I say, Fred Taylor.

A couple of players received an incredible amount of attention at Friday Night Lights but none more than Brandon Harris, AJ Jenkins, Will Hill and Jamie Harper. At one time during the highlight presentation, Coach Meyer brought Will Hill out to the 50-yard line and then proceeded to motion to Jamie Harper that he wanted him to come over and chat with Will Hill, future teammates?

Harper has a great relationship with running backs coach Stan Drayton and maintains that Florida is at the top of his list along with the Clemson Tigers. Harper does not care about Emanuel Moody at all; Harper is a top-notch running back that will welcome the competition.

There are too many people saying Florida for me to go the other way on this one, so with slight hesitation I am on board, for now.

Harper ran for over 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns last year but look for those totals to double this year.


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