THE LATEST ON LARON HARRIS

[Premium article] LaRon Harris is a 6-3, 305-lb. defensive lineman from Kingsbury High School in Memphis, TN. He benches 415 pounds, squats 465 pounds and says he has run the 40-yard dash in 4.92 seconds. He is currently being recruited as a defensive tackle. LaRon visited Mississippi State this past weekend. Here is my interview with him.

What time did you get to Starkville, LaRon?
"I got to Starkville around 5 or 5:15 Friday afternoon."

How did you travel to Starkville?
"The school jet."

Were you the only one on the jet?
"No sir, it was me, Antonio Sanders and Brandon Wright."

Have you flown before?
"Yes sir, I flew to Arkansas."

Who picked you up at the airport?
"(Offensive line) coach (Terry) Lewis."

What do you think about Coach Lewis?
"(Laugh) He is a pretty funny guy."

What did you do after he picked you up?
"Really, it was too late to see everything, so we went to the coaches' offices. After that, they let the hosts have us for the night."

When the coaches sat down with you and talked to you, what did they tell you that you can expect and what they expect from you?
"They said they liked me a lot. And that I have a very, very, very good chance of starting next year. Not because their linemen aren't good, but because I'm 6-3, 305."

What coaches told you that?
"Coach Hendrick and Coach Sherrill.

"I asked a lot of players things about the noseguard and defensive linemen, how many redshirt linemen they had, everything, I guess you could say, was leaning my way. Mario said he wanted me pretty bad because I would make him look good by taking up a couple of linemen for him. I don't mind doing that -- fighting off a double-team. I have been doing that for so long."

Who was your host?
"Mario Haggan."

What kind of fellow is Mario?
"(Laugh) He is a funny guy. Whether he knows you are not, he is going to mess with you. He is going to talk stuff. I guess a lot of other people were taking it personal, but I knew he was joking so I was talking stuff right back at him. Like, he would crack a joke at you, then when you got ready to say something back, he would say, 'shut up, I'm don't want to hear it'. He wouldn't give you a chance to say anything. One dude took it personal, but I was laughing at him and do it right back at him. That's just Mario. I figured him out when we first went to the restaurant (Harvey's). Before anyone had a chance to say anything, he came and introduced himself and made it known that he is Mario. He is just that kind of person."

Did you make any friendships with any other recruits that were there other than the other Memphis players?
"Yes sir, Ken Bournes, Jamal Pittman -- we called him JP -- and Emanual Valcourt. He and I were tripping, we were together, laughing and carrying on the entire time. He plays offensive tackle. He is about 6-5, 300."

Where did you stay?
"We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Starkville."

What did you do Saturday?
"We got up and met the professors for our major. The professor I met was dealing with Physical Therapy."

How did you enjoy your visit?
"I enjoyed it a lot. I liked it. It wasn't very many people back for school so there wasn't much to do. But I'm glad I came when I did. I got a chance to see how it will be if I come to school here, not to be partying all the time. It was still pretty cool even though there wasn't anything to do. You can't party all the time."

You come from a big city, Memphis. Starkville is much smaller as you saw. Have you had much experience spending time in a town the size of Starkville?
"Yes, I think Starkville -- I'm not sure if it is bigger than Fayetteville -- has a lot more in it. At Fayetteville, anything outside of the campus is like woods and houses. At Starkville, I saw a Burger King, a Wendy's, and a lot of fast food restaurants and stores. I didn't see a lot of that at Arkansas."

How did they feed you while you were there?
"(Laugh) I gained about 20 pounds. They made sure we didn't go hungry. Everytime we left the campus, we went somewhere to eat. They fed us real good. We ate in the conference room. I'm not where that was from but it was real good. We ate on the school campus."

LaRon, I'm going to put you on the spot a little bit. If you had to rate your visit on an imaginary scale of 1 to 10?
"About a 10, a 9 or 10. It was real nice."

Does any school lead for your signature right now?
"Not really. I believe, just because of the person that I am, I have a good chance to play wherever I go. Besides, a lot of coaches tell me that I will play early, but it's just that I believe that Mississippi State is telling me the truth more than anybody, just because of the coach that is recruiting me.

"There are only two things that I worry about, getting my education and playing football. I'm not worried about partying or anything like that, I just want to go to school and play football."

When and where do you go on your next visit?
"Next weekend to Tennessee."

Thank you, LaRon.


Charles Johnson is a recruiting correspondent for Gene's Page (http://mississippistate.theinsiders.com), the unofficial source for Mississippi State sports on the internet.


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