Bad news followed by good news for Harris

It wasn't supposed to work out like it did, but in the end Ian Harris did what he had to do to try and earn that offer. Imagine testing out better than you did at a previous combine only to hear that an offer wasn't there and that they were going another direction. Well, it was probably tough to take at first, but then he got home to find something there for him.

Talk about being put on the spot, but Ian Harris performed well under pressure. The tight end from San Antonio (Texas) Churchill went to UCLA, his leader, in an effort to see the school and earn that offer.

"I think that I got back from UCLA on Monday morning," Harris said. "I was out there all weekend at a camp."

The idea was to attend camp and get that offer that Harris wanted. Harris didn't hold anything back and bettered some pretty impressive times that he had just put up at a recent combine.

"I performed really well. A lot of my results were better there than what I had at the Nike combine. My shuttle, 40 yard dash and vertical jump were all better. I ran a 4.65 and a 4.75 at Nike, but at UCLA I ran a 4.62 and a 4.74."

"From all of those results and all of my other individual times, I sat down with coach at the end in a one on one and felt confident in everything that I did. They told me that they were going another direction."

That other direction was defense. UCLA is very limited this year in the amount of offers to extend. Some players would have been devastated by those words, but not Harris.

"I was actually fine with that. I did everything that I needed to do and more. I was fine with their decision and I respect their decision and telling me. I have a lot of offers right now and that is one school that I can trim off and move on."

While Harris was out on the left-coast and getting some grim news from UCLA good news was en route to his house for when he got home and in the coming days after he returned from camp.

"The official papers just came in this morning from Nebraska. That night I came home Purdue had sent me a letter saying that they were waiting for the official "O.K." to offer. So now Purdue is ready to offer and UTEP just offered as well."

After having seen UCLA, there is the rest of the summer to plan on. Now, Ian's brother played for Arizona and he explained that he has seen Arizona plenty of times, but there were plans to take a visit to Nebraska in the coming weeks. Will that still happen?

"I have been out to Arizona already. We were going to try and make it to Nebraska on June 17, but my parents have different things to do. I spoke to Coach Watson so next year I can get up there. There is a request for all Thursday night games during my senior season and they will try and find an open date so I can get up there and see the campus and make an official visit."

With some trips under his belt, the summer is just getting kicked off to get ready for the fall season. Harris will be pretty busy from this next week forward doing training and working on timing with his quarterback.

"On Monday I start our strength and conditioning program up at the school. We just started our seven on seven passing league, so I will be doing that too. I will also be doing this velocity training. It just works on your mechanics and works on getting your speed down. I will be doing that as well."

Now, UCLA was the favorite ahead of Nebraska. Now, UCLA won't be offering, but a visit to Nebraska that was scheduled for two weeks has slipped to this fall. Who is the leader now for Harris?

"It was UCLA and then Nebraska. UCLA had a little bit of an advantage. The bump on the visit date doesn't change anything to me. Nebraska is my top choice right now."

Coming from San Antonio, Harris remembers Nebraska's dominance of NCAA football in the 90s. "I remember watching Nebraska since I was a little kid and Eric Crouch was there. I always rooted for them even since Lawrence Phillips was there. I just remember watching them with my dad and rooting for them."

"I love the tradition there. I love what Coach Bill Callahan is doing there. The offense that he just put in too. Coach Shawn Watson and Phil Elmassian are explaining that they are looking for a guy that can stretch the field vertically."

Beyond the tradition and the former players is what Harris has been told about what he could do at Nebraska. They are looking for a play-making tight end. "Coach Watson said that they don't have that guy right now. They said that I could come in and be that guy, play right away and do those things for them. That is what excites me the most."

Is a commitment for Harris really hinging on getting a chance to get up to Nebraska, check out the campus and confirm what he has been feeling? Harris replied, "Yes sir."


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