"I always knew I was going to come to NC State ever since coach Lowe walked into the gym to see another basketball player and he told me I was the one he wanted when everybody else didn't think I would be anything," said Harrow. "Now I am where I am and all these coaches want me, but I'm going to stay true to NC State and coach Lowe. I guess it's official now and I want to say thanks for all the support."
Harrow's signing ends a recruitment that saw him commit to NC State very early in the process. At the time, he had been receiving some interest from Auburn and Tennessee-Chattanooga but was a virtual unknown on the recruiting radar.
He attended the Wolfpack's Elite Camp in 2008 and impressed head coach Sidney Lowe so much that he landed the scholarship offer prior to the start of his junior year. He committed a couple of weeks later and some questioned the decision by Lowe to offer an unknown prospect at a critical position of need for State.
However, Harrow certainly proved Lowe made the right decision as he had an outstanding junior season for Marietta (GA) Walton High School.
He was one of only two juniors on the AP Class AAAAA first-team all-state team, and he was joined on the team by NC State signees Lorenzo Brown and Richard Howell.
He averaged 28 points per game to help lead Walton to a school-record 19 wins and a solid showing in the state playoffs.
Despite the success, few recruiting analysts had seen him play in person and he remained a three-star recruit. That all changed in the spring when he hit the AAU circuit with the J. Smoov Celtics. Every weekend Harrow went out and delivered on the court, posting prolific numbers while leading a talented Celtics squad deep into the playoffs of each tournament they attended. His play also drew rave reviews from the recruiting analysts who were finally getting a chance to really watch him play.
"The first time you lay eyes on Ryan Harrow as a young kid, you see this small, frail guy who is athletic and can do some things," said Scout.com's Dave Telep. "But as the seasons have passed, his athletic ability and ability to find the bottom of the net have flourished despite his physicality holding him back a little bit.
"That's interesting. It really speaks to what kind of prospect he is because if he can distinguish himself now, despite being behind the eight-ball in terms of where his body is, it just speaks volumes to what kind of game he has and natural ability he has.
"He's the kind of guy who with a weight program you expect to make a really scary jump. Ryan is just a talent, and once his body matches his confidence and ability, he's going to be a heckuva player."
At 6-foot and 160 pounds Harrow is able to post prolific scoring numbers while also keeping his teammates involved. With that being said, his ability to make shots and be a creator is what really sets him apart.
"He's a scoring lead guard," Telep added. "Tyrese Rice may not be a great comparison in terms of ability because they do not necessarily play the same way, but they bring the same mentality to the position.
"Point guards come in different shapes, sizes, and styles. Harrow's style is going to be a guy who instinctively is a scorer by nature. That's the style he'll bring to that position.
|"Ryan is just a talent."|
"Different programs, different cultures prefer different styles of point guards. He's talented. He wants to score. He's a good enough athlete and smart enough basketball player who can get guys shots.
"It's just about eventually finding that balance. On the flipside, you never want to dull his natural instincts to put the ball through the bottom of the net. It's a balance that has to be struck because he's that talented."
Walton head coach Joe Goydish was also in attendance to see his star player ink with the Wolfpack.
"He's a fine, fine kid," said coach Goydish. "He's fun to coach and fun to watch play. I've been doing this 22 years and I watch him play and see something new every single day in practice.
"He makes my job a lot easier because the teachers love him. He's good in the classroom, he's good in the hallways, and we pack the gym on a Tuesday night because of Ryan Harrow."
With his recruitment completely behind him, Harrow can now focus on his senior season and the goals he has left to reach before taking his game to Raleigh.
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