Decision Criteria Changed for Harris (part 2)

In part two of GoBlueWolverine's interview with Drake Harris the four-star wideout shares his impressions of the offenses at Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State… shares more details on the factors that will go into his decision, and much much more. ***With Video***

Drake Harris could be in the midst of a year that dreams are made of, and he knows it.  The dual-sport star was a dominant force on the football field last season, keying his team’s march to a state title.  Now he is back on hardwood leading the most talented basketball team in his high school career, and he hopes to propel it on a trophy-winning journey as well.  To do so the Eagles will need to have more efforts like they had in their 74-50 victory over East Grand Rapids last Friday.

“It was my first game back,” said Harris after his 13-point outing.  “I missed two games with a high ankle sprain. I feel like I played pretty good tonight. I got my rhythm back in practice on Wednesday. I came out tonight and I felt like I shot the ball pretty good, I got my teammates involved, and we all played well together.”

Harris’ athletic is focus is aimed squarely at getting completely healthy and getting his team clicking on all cylinders, but he has spent some of his off time dealing with his newly reopened recruitment.   Now that he is looking exclusively at playing football at the next level he has a whole new set of criteria to consider.

Said Harris, “(I’m looking at) the (football) tradition, the fan support… coming out and supporting the team… seeing if I can step in and play because I want to play my freshman year. Just looking at the offenses seeing if they throw the ball and stuff like that.”

The four-star wideout has already begun the process of looking at the offenses at the various schools on his list.  That task is far from complete, but they has formed some early impressions… especially of the one employed by the school he still considers himself committed to, Michigan State.

“Dantonio has always had great receivers,” the 6-3, 175-pounder stated.  “Producing great receivers and putting them in the NFL like B.J. Cunningham. Keyshawn Martin in the past couple years. He’s always had great receivers and he throws the ball vertical, which I like. That my type of game. He throws it underneath. I like that too. He throws the ball a lot and he runs it.”

The Spartans appeared to lean on the run game more last year than in the few years prior.  Most observers attributed that to the breaking in of a new quarterback.  Harris did as well.

“(Andrew Maxwell) had a tough time this year,” he said.  “It was his first year starting but I think if you give him time, he’ll be great. He can throw the ball. I think he’ll come back next year and play a lot better.”

Joining Michigan State on Harris’ growing list of suitors are Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama (offered today), Florida, Florida State and Notre Dame.  The Buckeyes and Wolverines jumped immediately into the mix last week when he decided to look around. He didn’t watch them as closely as the Spartans last year, but he saw enough to be impressed with the direction in which they’re heading.

“I watched Urban Myer down in Florida… I always loved their teams,” he said.  “The speed and all that. The way he spreads the ball around… he throws the ball a lot. I mean, I’m a receiver so I want to get the ball when he’s passing it and that’s basically what they do is pass the ball. I’ve been in contact with them. They all seem like great people. Coach Myer seems like a great guy. Like I said, they throw the ball a lot and that fits my game well.”

And when it comes to the quarterback’s role as a ball-carrier in the Buckeye offense, “I don’t really have a problem with it,” said Harris.

Michigan began migrating even further away from that type of offense to more of a pro-style when Devin Gardner took over the reins late last season.  That gave Harris a glimpse of the future in Ann Arbor and he liked what he saw there as well.

“They run the ball a little bit and that sets up the play action for me, which I like, for vertical threats. So they can throw the ball down the field. They’re bringing Shane Morris in, a great quarterback. I know that they throw the ball and run the ball so they have great balance on offense. The defense can’t just sit on the pass or sit on the run.”

The player charged with triggering that offense in the coming years will likely be Morris.  The lefty gunslinger made it point last week to reach out to Harris to express his interest in teaming up.

“We haven’t been in that much contact… he just tweeted me on twitter,” Harris explained.  “Last summer, I was at Michigan’s camp and we threw together. He has a great arm.”

The connection between the two is clearly still in the formative stages, but the interaction did make him ponder what kind of duo they might be. When asked if he could see the two in-state stars joining forces to be a one-two punch, he didn’t hesitate.

“Yeah, I could,” replied Harris.  “I mean, he’s a great quarterback. He puts the ball there. One of the best arms I’ve ever seen.”

While Morris’ presence is certainly a feather in Michigan’s cap, the Wolverines still have work to do to catch favorite Michigan State.  The Spartans have the benefit of comfort, established relationships, and childhood fandom on their side.  And while basketball may no longer be a prime consideration, the fact that Tom Izzo extended him his first offer still resonates with him.  So too does the lack of a basketball offer from the Wolverines.

“(That Michigan never offered a basketball scholarship) kind of did (bother me) a little bit,” admitted Harris.  “I was thinking that after my sophomore year they were going to offer me and ended up not doing it.”

Fortunately for the Maize & Blue, Harris is putting those feelings to the side.

“It won’t affect (Michigan’s football courtship) at all,” he said.  “The football coaches, they’re all great coaches. Coach Hoke and all of them down there. I talked to them last summer and they all seem like great people.”

Harris plans to make it to Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State and a host of other campuses in the coming months.  That said, setting up those visits isn’t his top priority at the moment.  Trying to win the second title of his junior campaign is.

To view the interview in its entirety, press play below.

Interview conducted by GoBlueWolverine correspondent, Roscoe Hill.


The Michigan Insider Top Stories

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Drake Harris could be in the midst of a year that dreams are made of, and he knows it. The dual-sport star was a dominant force on the football field last season, keying his team’s march to a state title. Now he is back on hardwood leading the most talented basketball team in his high school career, and he hopes to propel it on a trophy-winning journey as well. To do so the Eagles will need to have more efforts like they had in their 74-50 victory over East Grand Rapids last Friday.

“It was my first game back,” said Harris after his 13-point outing. “I missed two games with a high ankle sprain. I feel like I played pretty good tonight. I got my rhythm back in practice on Wednesday. I came out tonight and I felt like I shot the ball pretty good, I got my teammates involved, and we all played well together.”

Harris’ athletic is focus is aimed squarely at getting completely healthy and getting his team clicking on all cylinders, but he has spent some of his off time dealing with his newly reopened recruitment. Now that he is looking exclusively at playing football at the next level he has a whole new set of criteria to consider.

Said Harris, “(I’m looking at) the (football) tradition, the fan support… coming out and supporting the team… seeing if I can step in and play because I want to play my freshman year. Just looking at the offenses seeing if they throw the ball and stuff like that.”

The four-star wideout has already begun the process of looking at the offenses at the various schools on his list. That task is far from complete, but they has formed some early impressions… especially of the one employed by the school he still considers himself committed to, Michigan State.

“Dantonio has always had great receivers,” the 6-3, 175-pounder stated. “Producing great receivers and putting them in the NFL like B.J. Cunningham. Keyshawn Martin in the past couple years. He’s always had great receivers and he throws the ball vertical, which I like. That my type of game. He throws it underneath. I like that too. He throws the ball a lot and he runs it.”

The Spartans appeared to lean on the run game more last year than in the few years prior. Most observers attributed that to the breaking in of a new quarterback. Harris did as well.

“(Andrew Maxwell) had a tough time this year,” he said. “It was his first year starting but I think if you give him time, he’ll be great. He can throw the ball. I think he’ll come back next year and play a lot better.”

Joining Michigan State on Harris’ growing list of suitors are Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama (offered today), Florida, Florida State and Notre Dame. The Buckeyes and Wolverines jumped immediately into the mix last week when he decided to look around. He didn’t watch them as closely as the Spartans last year, but he saw enough to be impressed with the direction in which they’re heading.

“I watched Urban Myer down in Florida… I always loved their teams,” he said. “The speed and all that. The way he spreads the ball around… he throws the ball a lot. I mean, I’m a receiver so I want to get the ball when he’s passing it and that’s basically what they do is pass the ball. I’ve been in contact with them. They all seem like great people. Coach Myer seems like a great guy. Like I said, they throw the ball a lot and that fits my game well.”

And when it comes to the quarterback’s role as a ball-carrier in the Buckeye offense, “I don’t really have a problem with it,” said Harris.

Michigan began migrating even further away from that type of offense to more of a pro-style when Devin Gardner took over the reins late last season. That gave Harris a glimpse of the future in Ann Arbor and he liked what he saw there as well.

“They run the ball a little bit and that sets up the play action for me, which I like, for vertical threats. So they can throw the ball down the field. They’re bringing Shane Morris in, a great quarterback. I know that they throw the ball and run the ball so they have great balance on offense. The defense can’t just sit on the pass or sit on the run.”

The player charged with triggering that offense in the coming years will likely be Morris. The lefty gunslinger made it point last week to reach out to Harris to express his interest in teaming up.

“We haven’t been in that much contact… he just tweeted me on twitter,” Harris explained. “Last summer, I was at Michigan’s camp and we threw together. He has a great arm.”

The connection between the two is clearly still in the formative stages, but the interaction did make him ponder what kind of duo they might be. When asked if he could see the two in-state stars joining forces to be a one-two punch, he didn’t hesitate.

“Yeah, I could,” replied Harris. “I mean, he’s a great quarterback. He puts the ball there. One of the best arms I’ve ever seen.”

While Morris’ presence is certainly a feather in Michigan’s cap, the Wolverines still have work to do to catch favorite Michigan State. The Spartans have the benefit of comfort, established relationships, and childhood fandom on their side. And while basketball may no longer be a prime consideration, the fact that Tom Izzo extended him his first offer still resonates with him. So too does the lack of a basketball offer from the Wolverines.

“(That Michigan never offered a basketball scholarship) kind of did (bother me) a little bit,” admitted Harris. “I was thinking that after my sophomore year they were going to offer me and ended up not doing it.”

Fortunately for the Maize & Blue, Harris is putting those feelings to the side.

“It won’t affect (Michigan’s football courtship) at all,” he said. “The football coaches, they’re all great coaches. Coach Hoke and all of them down there. I talked to them last summer and they all seem like great people.”

Harris plans to make it to Michigan, Ohio State, Michigan State and a host of other campuses in the coming months. That said, setting up those visits isn’t his top priority at the moment. Trying to win the second title of his junior campaign is.

To view the interview in its entirety, press play below.

Interview conducted by GoBlueWolverine correspondent, Roscoe Hill.

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