Humble. Selfless. Quiet. Any one of those terms could be used to describe the newest member of Michigan’s 2014 recruiting class. Drake Harris is an unassuming star. Ask those who know him best and they’ll tell you the spotlight isn’t something he craves. He’s a big time athlete, with big time game, minus the big time attitude. But in a world where perception now equates to reality, some view the talented youngster is a vibrant example of a glory hound. That of course is the opinion held by those whose schools Harris disappointed when he pledged to the Maize & Blue. As biting as some of the criticism is, it has proven unsuccessful in bringing the four-star wideout down from his commitment high.
“(Committing to Michigan) is not disrespect to those other programs,” said Harris’ father Mike. “We went down to Ohio State and he enjoyed himself down there. It was awesome for him to meet the president. They brought the president out for him. It was awesome! It showed that they really really wanted him. Urban Meyer’s record speaks for itself. He seems like a good guy, but when all was said and done we (went) back (to Michigan), it just felt like home. Drake pulled me aside and was just like, ‘dad I just feel it. This is the place I need to be. I trust these guys… Hoke, Hecklinski, all of them. It just seems like this is where my heart it and this is where I need to be.’”
“People are dogging him out now (saying) he’s a Benedict Arnold. ‘He said he was going to come down to Michigan State again, but he lied again and let Michigan State down twice.’ Then somebody had the nerve to sit up here and say that he wants attention. If that was the case he could have just been like, ‘I know I want to go to Michigan, but I’m going to hold it, I’m going to play it all off, and I’m going to go (on visits).’ (Instead) he said, ‘look, (Michigan) is where I want to go.’”
That’s all dad needed to hear. He was going to support his son whatever the decision. That much was clear when he supported the initial commitment to Michigan State. That said, the elder Harris admits to finding a little extra joy in his son’s choice to don the winged-helmet.
“Michigan has always been my team… everyone knows that,” Mr. Harris stated. “But I didn’t want to be one of those dads that goes out here and forces him to go somewhere or try to persuade him to go somewhere he didn’t really want to be. He had to go through that process and he had to learn for himself.”
“I think he did a good job. The thing is when it hits you that this is the place for you, that’s where you need to go. He just felt that was the place for him.”
Needless to say, dad felt the same way. If he hadn’t Fox Sports Next’s #3 wideout may have taken a little longer to reach his decision.
Said Harris, “(Urban Meyer) threw everything at us, but (I) was sitting back kind of going, ‘ehhhh, I don’t know son.’ We talked about it and he kind of got that feeling too. But when he went back and sat down with Hoke and them again he was just like, ‘yeah, this is the place I need to be. This is home.”
Now that young Harris is officially blue he is committed to helping his future team build another elite class. His dad believes that will just be the latest step in his favorite team’s return to glory.
“Those (Michigan coaches)… it’s just something about them just the feeling I have to trust them with my son,” said Mr. Harris. “Hoke and that whole staff to me just seems like real guys. Drake wants to help that program get back to where it used to be when they used to dominate all the time. He wants to be a part of that. Two years in a row they’ve have the top offensive line recruiting class. That’s where it starts at. It starts in the trenches. That’s what I told Drake. ‘You’ve got to look at who they’re bringing in up front and what quarterbacks (they have). Those are huge things for you.’ And Michigan… they’re set, man. They’ve got it going on!”
“Drake has been talking to a few (recruits) so hopefully some of these other names will jump on board. It just seems like Michigan is on their way back, baby! Just like the old days when Michigan used to dominate.”