Tigers courting Houston defensive end

HOUSTON -- At 6-foot-5, 270-pounds, Houston-St. Pius defensive end Chris Harrington has the maturity to match his size.<br><br>"Chris has played varsity as a freshman and we always knew he would be something special," St. Pius head coach Robin Kirk said. "He has always been a leader and just an exceptional person."

"He is a great student and captain and we feel honored to have had him in our program," Kirk continued. "It sounds cliche, but he is who you want your daughter to marry."


While wedding plans aren't in the future, college coaches from across the country have been courting Harrington for over a year.


"I started getting letters two summers ago and would read them all," Harrington said. "Then they started pouring in last spring and you just can't get to all of them. It got so crazy this summer that during the period that coaches could call, my mom wouldn't let me leave the house. I felt like I was on the phone most of the summer."


Harrington did take a break from the phone this summer as he attended a session of Nick Saban's camp and the Nike Combine held at College Station, Texas.


"During the camp, coach Saban took the time to sit me down and offered me a scholarship," he said. "That really got my attention."


Mature beyond his 18 years, Harrington has used the honest approach during the recruiting process.


"College coaches are really good salesman and it can be hard to focus at times," he said. "You just have to manage your time and tell some coaches that you are just not interested. That is hard to do sometimes because you form relationships with these people and they are invested in you.


"I was hard to tell the coach from Missouri that they were not it my top five, but they understand and would rather you be straight up than lead them on,' he said.


Schools remaining on Harrington's list are Oklahoma, LSU and Texas A&M. He has taken an official visit to Oklahoma and was in attendance for the LSU-ULL game, but doesn't plan to commit early. He will officially visit LSU and Texas A&M in December.


"The LSU game was awesome," he said. "When the players walk down the hill to the stadium with fans lining the streets is a great sight. That was the ULL game, I can't imagine what it is like for Alabama or a big SEC game."


Anchoring St. Pius' defense for the last three years, Harrington combines strength and speed to foil the opposition's offensive plans. He benches over 350 pounds and was clocked at 4.5 in the 40-yard dash at the Nike Camp.


"I've seen Chris run down running backs in the secondary," Kirk said. "He doesn't have a high tackle count this year because teams are running away from him. He impacts the game in so many ways on defense."


"He has been a run stuffer, but he really has improved his pass rushing skills. He has a nose for the quarterback," he said.


Ranked second in state for private schools, St. Pius and Harrington are focused on winning the TAPPS District, reaching the playoffs and winning a state title. In his teams' path is St. Thomas High School, coincidentally the alma mater of his LSU recruiter - Mike Haywood.


"Me and Coach Haywood have a lot in common, but we are going to get his guys before the season over," he said.


Hopefully for LSU, Haywood gets his.



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