Although they've not received a lot of fanfare for their recruiting of linebackers at NC State, the Wolfpack coaching staff has shown time and again the ability to develop some of the ACC's best at the position. Former ‘backers Pat Thomas, Oliver Hoyte and Stephen Tulloch now reside in the NFL but their departures have also left a hole that State will hope to address in the class of 2007. One player they made an early priority was Maurice Harris from Homestead (Fla) High school.
Due to injuries and inconsistency, Harris had an up and down year in 2005. Playing in Georgia as a junior, he finished off the year with 50 tackles and two interceptions. This season he has transferred back to Homestead (Fla) High School and Harris got the year off to a bang when he wowed those in attendance with his performance at the Nike Camp held in Miami, Fla. The rising senior was exceptional in one on one drills and posted an impressive 40-yard dash time of 4.51-seconds.
Another plus for Harris now that he's back at Homestead is that he will once again be playing for family. His uncle, Bobby McCrae, is the head coach at Homestead and he gave us a quick scouting report and recruiting update on his nephew.
"Maurice is about 6-1, 202 (pounds) right now," said McCrae. "The slowest we've timed him in the 40 is around 4.5 (seconds) but he usually runs in the high 4.4's. He's got a 36-inch vertical and we've timed him at 4.0-seconds in the shuttle.
"In one half during our jamboree back in the spring, he had nine tackles and a sack. He's just an outstanding athlete and we're probably going to use him at tight end some. I've seen a bunch of kids in Florida and I don't think there's anyone better than him."
Harris' potential hasn't gone unnoticed by college scouts as he's already earned offers from several major football programs. In fact, the Wolfpack was the first to jump on the bandwagon.
"Right now, he's got offers from NC State, Wisconsin, Auburn, Florida and Georgia," said McCrae. "In fact, NC State was the first school to offer him."
McCrae added that State's early offer will almost surely land the Pack an official visit and he seemed extremely impressed with the way the Wolfpack has handled recruiting at his school.
"Coach Stroud is down here and he's been doing a good job," he said. "Coach Amato also came down in the spring and I've known him since his days back at Florida State.
"Maurice is probably going to take his visits before he makes a decision but I feel sure State will get one of those visits since they were the first to offer him. I'm originally from Richmond County, and we've got family up in Hamlet (NC)."
Harris is rated a three-star prospect by Scout.com.
SCOUTING REPORT: "Maurice Harris is a very instinctive linebacker that closes very well on the ball and does a great job in space for pass coverage. His tackling form could work on getting his head across, but any time he touches his man Harris will bring him to the ground. Harris reads plays well while reacting correctly and quickly. His size is a concern, standing just over six feet and under 200 pounds, but he can play strong safety or linebacker." -- Scout.com Recruiting Analyst Miller Safrit
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