No. 1 RB plans to visit Irish

Running back Damien Harris sets the record straight with his interest level in the Irish, including when he plans to visit and what his decision timeline looks like for the future.

The nation's No. 1 ranked running back by, Damien Harris of Berea (Ky.) Madison Southern cut his lengthy list of offers to a top eight earlier this month.

In alphabetical order, Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Kentucky, Michigan, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Oregon all made the cut.

The former Michigan commit was offered by Notre Dame a year ago, and since then contact between the two parties has been brief. However, Harris says the rapport has started to strengthen in recent weeks.

"After Notre Dame offered me, I never heard anything from anyone on their staff," Harris said. "I didn't know how interested they were in me. Then, I committed and decommitted to Michigan, and I still didn't hear too much from them after that. Then, not too long ago, one of my coaches told me to give Coach (Scott) Booker from Notre Dame a call."

"Coach Booker explained that it wasn't that Notre Dame wasn't interested but that they had some shuffling in their coaching staff that changed up who was recruiting my region, so there was a delay getting to me."

Harris said speaking with Booker and Irish recruiting coordinator and running backs coach Tony Alford was a game changer regarding his interest level in Notre Dame.

"After talking with Coach Booker and Coach Alford on the phone, and then having Coach Booker come to my school, I realized I wanted to visit Notre Dame," Harris said.

"That gave me a lot of interest. We pretty much talked on the phone about what I'm looking for in a school, and they told me Notre Dame has all of those things."

"First and foremost, I want a degree with value and worth," Harris said. "Football ends at some point and I need a fallback after it's over. I want an enthusiastic staff with a lot of energy, and coaches that are not just going to develop me as a football player but as a young man and individual. I want a family feel with the players and the coaches - the same type of people on the same page working towards common goals."

Harris plans to narrow his list to five after the summer.

"After I see some places this summer, I will narrow my list to five, and that will be where I take my official visits," Harris said. "That way I won't have to choose where I visit in the fall, but it will already be set in stone."

The 5-foot-10 1/2, 210-pound running back has visited every school on his list so far except for Notre Dame, but the Irish are set to receive a visit from Harris in less than two weeks.

"I plan on going to Notre Dame June 20 for their camp," Harris said. "I know they have a lot of their big time guys coming in then. I'm also probably visiting Ohio State on June 17. Nothing else is planned so far."

Harris visited Kentucky last Saturday.

"The biggest thing right now is getting on campus," Harris said. "That will help my decision the most."

For Harris, it's more about relationships he forms rather than playing in a specific system.

"It's not about the system, it's more about the coaching staff and the education," Harris said. "If the school I like plays the spread offense, then will train myself to play in the spread. Same with pro-style. I like to say I have good size and strength, but I also have good speed. So, it's a bit of the best of both worlds. I can run you over with my size and strength, but I can also take you to the edge and make you miss in the open field."

As a junior, Harris rushed for over 2,600 yards and had 42 touchdowns. Top Stories