The fact that the Tigers’ braintrust has reached out to his coaches at South Lake High in Groveland, Fla., is enough for the 6-foot-1, 195-pound safety to be excited about the idea.
|Harris: 96 tackles, 3 INT, 6 forced fumbles as a junior|
“My coaches have talked to them and told me they offered me,” said Harris, the son of former Florida defensive back Mike ‘Mud’ Harris. “I was real excited about it when I heard about it.”
Not a whole lot of mystery as to why Harris was pumped to add the Tigers’ offer to a list that already includes the nearby Gators, Florida State, Texas, Tennessee and Temple.
One DB taken with the No. 5 pick of the 2011 NFL Draft, two All-American cornerbacks this season and arguably the most harrassing pass defense in the country make that an easy formula.
“They’ve got some of thebest cornerbacks and safeties in the country, and their coach (Ron Cooper) does a great job of preparing them,” Harris said. “If they’re looking at me being one of the top prospects, that makes me feel like they think I can play there pretty quickly.”
Harris’ junior season with the Eagles didn’t do anything to derail that idea.Playing both safety and receiver, Harris recorded 96 tackles, forced six fumbles, blocked four field goals, picked off three passes and scored a pair of touchdowns on a kickoff return and a fumble return.
Scout.com National Recruiting Analyst Chad Simmons wrote earlier this month that Harris will be a Scout 300 prospect in the Class of 2013 and “may push for Top 100 status.”
Regardless of where he’s ranked, Harris said he’s in no rush to decide where he’ll play college ball. The connection to Florida is strong because of his father – who played under Steve Spurrier and current Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops when he was the Gators’ defensive coordinator –but he said he’s open to all the programs recruiting him.
|Harris: 'I have an eye for the ball and know how to make plays.'|
“I have already have a lot of offers, and rightnow I’m just sitting back and relaxing,” Harris said. “I want to stay focused on football, do the right things and get my grades right so I don’t have to worry about any of that in my senior season. I’m in good shape (academically).”
Playing in the SEC is a definitely a pull.
“You always hear the SEC is the best league in the country, so of course I’d like to play there if I can,” Harris said.
Harris will attend a handful of junior showcases and summers camps and said LSU is one of the destinations he’s hoping for an invitation to.
As for the curent Tigers, Harris said he sees similarities between himself and two of the Tigers’ secondary stars: Cornerback Mo Claiborne and safety Eric Reid.
“In the games I’ve seen, (Reid) made a lot of tackles and he was alsways around the ball,” Harris said. “Claiborne was really good against whatever receiver he was facing. Both could play different positons, and I think I’m in that category. I have an eye for the ball and know how to make plays.
“I’m a guy who can play both safety and cornerback. If they want me to play up close and guard a receiver, I can do that. If they need me to play back and help that way, I’m comfortable there, too.”