At UNC, QB Graduate Transfer Brandon Harris Ready to Quiet Doubters

LSU graduate transfer Brandon Harris decided to continue his playing career at UNC. The 6-foot-3, 218-pound quarterback discussed his decision with Inside Carolina ...

Brandon Harris Commitment Q&A

Why UNC?

"I think it's just the perfect fit. And then just over the weekend, on my official visit, I learned a lot of football that I didn't know already -- and I've been a starting quarterback for three years. I think they can get me and develop me into what I haven't developed into now."

When did you know?

"When I knew there was a vacancy over there. I did my research and then they just made me feel comfortable and the talks I've had with them ever since I decided to leave LSU have been encouraging."

You've had conversations with Marquise Williams throughout this process. What did he share with you?

"Marquise is one of my good friends. He just told me about the opportunity. If you look their track record: they had Marquise the year before that and he had a great career at North Carolina; and then you look at Mitch [Trubisky] and he put up outstanding numbers and he's going to be a first round pick. Obviously, my skillset is different than both of those guys, but I think I'm going to turn into the quarterback that I've always hoped to be."

What role did this past weekend's official visit play into your decision?

"Not really a lot, because I've always felt confident in them and just what they told me. A lot of people think I'm not a good quarterback, but I'm going to tell you this right now: Coach [Larry] Fedora, Coach 'Heck' [Keith Heckendorf], and those guys are going to turn me into a quarterback that I've always hoped to become and the reason why I was highly touted out of high school. I think they have the right offense; I'm getting back into a familiar offense that I ran in high school and I put a lot of numbers up in. I'm looking forward to the opportunity."

A big part of your official visit was UNC's scrimmage on Saturday. What was your takeaway from that?

"They have a lot of talent; they have some talented receivers -- some guys that can get off and make plays."

What else did you do throughout the weekend?

"I hung out with the players and then Coach Heck and I just talked ball. I haven't had the opportunity to do that this spring. Just the way he's able to teach, I don't see how you don't come out of there knowing a lot about football. That dude taught me so much about football this weekend and things I didn't know and easier ways to learn different things. I'm super excited about it."

What players did you spend time with and how do you feel you meshed with them?

"Austin Proehl and some of the other receivers, Mitch Trubisky and some of the tight ends -- I met a lot of people over the weekend. I spent a lot of time with Stanton (Truitt); me and Stanton knew each other, obviously, from playing against each other.

"We meshed great. They have similar personalities to the guys at that we have at LSU -- winning mentality. They just want to be successful and I'm just looking forward to it."

What have Fedora and Heckendorf said to you about the starting quarterback situation?

"I'm going to have to earn it -- it's not like they're going to give me anything. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to come in and compete. Like I told them, all the schools that I was in contact with said, 'Come in and compete.' And that's what I expected. I think me and my dad both would have gotten up and left if they said otherwise."

When will you enroll at UNC?

"End of June -- I'll be there for the second summer semester. I have six [credit] hours going into the summer and I have to be here to take those classes."

What are your goals for this coming season?

"My first goal is to win the team over. Obviously, I met a couple of guys this weekend. And then win the coaches over and continue to develop.

"Going into the season, my goal is: do my six months there and accomplish my goal here at LSU, which was win an SEC Championship. Obviously, there it's going to be to win an ACC Championship. I think they have a talented team coming back. They have some talented receivers (I got to see them grind for two or three days). The opportunity to win now is there. I'm just telling you: I'm super excited, because I think I'll be able to quiet a lot of people who have doubted me my entire career just by going to North Carolina and showing my ability with people that believe in me and are going to give me every opportunity to be successful."

You're Louisiana born and bred and you spent the past three years at the state's flagship school. What's it like to know you're going to be leaving your home state?

"It's nothing. It's nothing personal -- it's just all business. I don't take anything personal and nobody else should. It was an opportunity for me to go and become better as a quarterback, become better as a player, grow as a man, and go to one of the best academic schools in the country. I'm looking forward to the opportunity just to develop. I think they have the right scheme, the right quarterback coach, the right head coach, and the right mindset to develop me into the quarterback that I hope to be over my career."

Justin Rogers, a 2018 quarterback from your high school, said you were a mentor to him. What's your role in recruiting him?

"I play for North Carolina now and it's the same thing as when I was at LSU: I recruit for them. I want him to come up there -- it's that simple. I think it's going to be a good opportunity for him; I'll, obviously, only be there for a year -- it's not like I have two or three years left. I think it's an excellent opportunity for him to grow and then learn and assume the role, whenever that may be.

"I absolutely feel like North Carolina has a great shot with him."

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