After securing the commitment from Columbus area WR Jaron Dukes and recently reeling in Chandler Park Academy WR Csont'e York, Michigan may have just one spot left at the wide receiver position for the class of 2013. According to Paul Harris, he and Michigan are still in the early stages of getting to know one another, so at this time he's not yet too worried about that last spot being filled up.
"I believe he told me they're taking three wide receivers," said Harris. "I didn't know that two wide receivers have committed, that's news to me, but I know the coach (Curt Mallory), I talk to him on facebook—not frequently, but enough, like once a week. We're building that relationship."
Harris is in no hurry to make a decision and has plenty of visits set up this summer, including a trip to check out what the wolverines have to offer.
"I know I'm coming (for a visit) to Michigan," said Harris. "I don't know the date but I know just, like, one month after school ends. I know because I'm going to Michigan and then to Michigan State. So I know I am coming to Michigan. June 8th I'm going back down to Auburn, June 25th I'm going up to USC. So I'm going around but everything is going to be around my track schedule."
As a track runner, Harris uses his long 6'4 frame to glide around the track in various events that showcase his speed but also his endurance.
"I run the 400, the 4 by 4 and the 4 by 2," said Harris. "My fastest time (in the 400) is a 48.2—I did that last year—and this year my fastest is a 48.9."
Football is going to be Harris bread and butter and key to a scholarship offer at the next level, but Harris plans on being a two-sport athlete at whichever college he chooses, something Michigan has said they're open to.
"Coach Mallory told me I could run track there too so, you know, that's always big to me when they say I can run track," said Harris. "And Michigan track is good, so when they said I could run track that kind of sparked my eye."
"I don't think any school really, really has a problem with it (track) if you keep your grades up," said Harris. "That's what I learned in this process, like if you keep your grades up, schools usually let you do track."
When Harris makes it up to Michigan next month his main focus will be on interacting with the coaching staff to see if they're as likeable as Coach Mallory.
"Of course, first I'm going to look at the football," said Harris. "I'm going to look at the football, get a feel for the coaches and then most likely it will be good if they're all like Coach Mallory because that's a good person, I really like him. So if they're all like him then all I'd have to do is look at the track and get a feeling for how that is."
Making the trips with Harris this summer will be his mom, who appears to be just as excited to get a feel for the University of Michigan.
"Of course," said Harris. "I'm not going anywhere without her. She's real excited—sometimes it gets overwhelming (laughing) because it's happened so fast. My freshmen year everybody knew me, my sophomore year everybody knew me but I was hurt and I was at Dematha. All these schools were recruiting me but nobody wanted to offer because I didn't have a highlight tape—so as soon as the highlight tape came out everything just came at once. I'm truly blessed to say that I have multiple choices and they're still coming, so I'm truly blessed. That's why when you asked me what my strengths are, that's why I didn't name a strength because I'm working to get better."
Harris has no intention of making a decision this summer, but in recruiting anything is possible. And if Harris has any questions about the Wolverines and what it's like to be a student-athlete in Ann Arbor, he'll have no problem finding out from a fellow Maryland native.
"There's always a chance because, I mean, anything can happen," said Harris. "I could go up there and really love it, or go up there and really not like it. The biggest three things are: are the coaches family first people? I don't just want a coach on the field, what are they going to be off the field. I know—I don't really, really know— Blake Countess but I know him because I played against him; and I was around the Countess family a little bit so I knew him and I could always ask him and I know he'll keep it real with me. I know he loves it up there, so that's number one. Two is if my mom likes it—you know, she's got to like it," said Harris. "Three is academics and track. My mom wants me on a three-year plan with academics, I don't want it but mom wants it so got to do it. As soon as I graduate she wants me the next day to be on campus, so she's pushing me to it. I know I'm smart enough to do it so that's why I'm not really tripping about it."
Wherever Harris ends up, it's very apparent at just age 17, there is a plan in place and an incredible amount of motivation on his side.
'13 WR Paul Harris, mom, & Michigan (Part 2)
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