There's always trepidation involved when recruiting a player with serious baseball talent. Nebraska thought they had Bubba Starling coming in to play quarterback before the Kansas City Royals selected him 5th overall in the 2011 Major League Baseball draft. It hasn't, however, scared off 12 schools who have offered Monte Harrison, a 6-foot-3, 193-pound wide receiver out of Lee's Summit West High School in Kansas City area. Kansas State is one of those schools heavily involved early on for Harrison's services.
"I went to Kansas State on a Junior Day visit," said Harrison. "It went well. I felt a lot of support for me to be there. The coaches were very kind to me. They seemed liked my type of people. Where I come from there's a family feeling. If I don't get that feeling then it's a place I'm probably not going to be at. I felt it at Kansas State. It's definitely a school that I feel like could be an option for me.
"The day I was there they were bringing in Coach [Andre] Coleman. He said he loved my athleticism and wanted me to come play football there. They haven't offered me for baseball yet. The schools who have offered me for baseball are Missouri, Kansas, and Arkansas. I would want to play both in college and I've been talking to coaches about doing that."
This past season was Harrison's first as a starter on varsity football for the Titans. He was a defensive back as a sophomore but head coach Royce Boehm decided to move him to offense to be his number one wide receiver. The move paid off in a big way. Harrison was named All-State (Missouri Class 5) and helped his team to the state's number one ranking before falling to Ozark in the quarterfinals.
"I'm not sure on the receptions, but I had 18 touchdowns," he said. "I have 4.5 speed, I'm a physical receiver and try to mix things up. Instead of doing the same thing over and over again, I change it to pick on my opponent. I study a lot of film and look at what they do to find weaknesses I can exploit during the game."
Harrison returned one punt back for a score, but said, begrudgingly, not many teams would kick to him. He's sure to have the attention of schools in the Suburban-Red Conference in 2013. Although professional baseball may be an option for Harrison, a switch-hitting centerfielder, he's looking for the right college home at this juncture.
"Finding a place that feels like family, where I get along well with the coaches is one of my top priorities," Harrison stated. "Since I'm going to be there for four or five years I want to be in a good environment. I don't want to be somewhere and have to go back home crying to my mom because I don't like it there."
If he choose Manhattan, Kansas State fans likely would never let that happen. Not to go unmentioned, Harrison is also a standout basketball player, and averaged 17 points-per-game for the 21-5 Titans.