HYATTSVILLE, Md. – After missing much of his junior season due to injury, Maryland commit Lorenzo Harrison had a chance to shine on a national stage Aug. 29 when DeMatha (Hyattsville, Md.) hosted Florida powerhouse Miami Central (Miami, Fla.). The Stags’ senior running back ended up totaling more than 125 yards in the 38-14 DeMatha victory. Terrapin Times was in attendance to watch the longtime Terps’ pledge in action.
Our take on his game is below, while we conducted an interview with him above:
Lorenzo Harrison is one of the more refined high school running backs you’re going to see. While many young runners have trouble identifying and hitting holes, Harrison actually excels in both areas. The 5-foot-9, 193-pounder does his best work on stretch runs, actively searching and anticipating openings. He’s a patient runner with a keen sense of exactly where those gaps will form.
Once he finds daylight, Harrison accelerates quickly; shoots the gap; and pops into the second level. While he’s not especially elusive, Harrison can still “get skinny” in the holes, making him tough to grab in traffic.
On top of that, Harrison’s feet are deft enough where he can change direction on a dime. He’s an ideal runner behind a zone-blocking scheme, which allows him to show off his awareness; acceleration; and cut-back ability.
Harrison isn’t as effective between the tackles, but that doesn’t mean he can’t hang. Quite the contrary. His stout base and low running style aid him in maintaining balance after contact. Harrison, his feet constantly pumping, can push the pile a bit and break into the second level too. It helps that he understands defenses and reads his blocks well, eagerly darting to daylight but without running up his linemen’s backs.
To improve, Harrison has to develop even more acceleration. While he’s fairly swift when he hits the holes, he’s not going to “turn the corner” and motor down the sideline. Moreover, Harrison isn’t a breakaway-type back with long speed. He can burst past linebackers, but probably won’t be pulling away from too many safeties.
We’d also like to see Harrison break a few more tackles too. He’s a pretty powerful runner, but we want to see him run over – and through – defenders more often.
It would also behoove him to pick up his pass-blocking, actively locating rushers and stalemating them at the point of attack.
Speaking of passing, Harrison can expand his arsenal by continuing to work on his routes and receiving. He doesn’t pull down a ton of passes at DeMatha, so his catching prowess probably needs some refining.
Lastly, Harrison has to keep building his body in order to hang between the tackles in the Big Ten. Harrison is a strong guy, but probably not ready for major college ball physically just yet.