Harris Didn't Want To Miss On Being A Spartan

Mark Dantonio and staff continue building upon their top class for the 2011 recruiting class. Darien Harris is the latest prospect to jump on board with the Spartans.

At 6-foot-1, 205-pounds, Darien Harris of Hyattsville (MD) DeMatha Catholic High School is a player with a lot of upside. A Scout.com 3-star rated safety, Harris will become an outside linebacker at the college level at his college choice Michigan State.

Why did Michigan State win out over the others?

"Michigan State seems to be the right place. Everything fit, the coaching staff is great and had built a relationship with my coach at other schools. Everyone I spoke with said to me not to miss this opportunity."

Spartans defensive line coach Ted Gill was the front man in recruiting Harris and did a great job.

"Coach Gill was great from day one. He has been keeping up with me since way back in May and would have been supportive of any choice I made. My parents talked with Coach Gill on the phone and when they got off the phone with him I knew everyone was going to be very happy with my decision."

While ranked as a safety, Harris knows his future is in the middle of the field as a linebacker.

"Michigan State sees me as an outside linebacker. I got a chance to speak with Greg Jones and he gave me the lay of the land. I'm very excited."

Having visited last week, Darien came away knowing the Spartans were ahead of the other two programs he had great interest in attending.

"I was looking at Michigan State, Duke, and Kansas. It is very hard to say no to any of the programs as they are all great programs on the rise. Everyone was saying the right things, but Michigan State was setting their self apart in the last couple of weeks."

Another current Spartan that played a role in giving Harris the information needed to make his decision was William Gholston.

"I was able to hang out for about 45 minutes with William Gholston and he told me they have a really good thing going but they need these last few players to come in and place the team in the right direction."

Now with his college decision behind him, Darien will begin the task of having a strong senior season.

"We start getting ready next Wednesday. With recruiting now behind me, my focus goes back on my high school team and winning a championship. That is all that is going to be on my mind. Stay focused on DeMatha and help lead my team to a championship."

Darien feels he is coming into a conference positioned to be the top one in all of college football.

"I follow college football a lot and I think this year the Big Ten will take over as the top conference. Everyone talks about the SEC, but the Big Ten has great fan support, and won more bowl games than anyone else last year. So I feel that puts them over the top to being the best conference and one I'm going to be proud to play in."

One person Darien has yet to speak with today is Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio.

"We spoke with him over the phone. Coach Dantonio is a great family man and a great man of faith. I will get a chance talk with him tonight. He has been in meetings all day with the Big Ten so I look forward to talking with him later today."

As for his plans for the future, Darien has those things all set.

"I'm going to come in next summer and get started on my college career. I'm excited about getting started at Michigan State, but also want to enjoy my senior year."


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