Edison High School always seems to have one or two division one defensive backs on their roster and this coming season won't be any different. A new name to watch is rising junior, Cliff Harris (6-foot-0, 160 pounds). He didn't get a lot of chances to play at the varsity level as a sophomore, but he's already showen that he's got the talent to carry on the tradition at Edison.
"I played in three varsity games last season," Harris responded when asked about his sophomore season. "I played defensive back and returner. I only had a couple tackles. I didn't have a lot of highlights, but I also didn't make many mistakes.
"This year I'm going to play wide receiver and cornerback. My expectations are very high. I'm expected to do a lot and I'm ready to do a lot. I've been working hard at the camps and I've been doing really well. I'm going to be ready to play."
Harris will need to be ready. Edison has two of the best defensive backs in the country playing on the opposite side of the field.
"Robert Golden and Brandon Leslie have been helping me out," Harris explained. "It's kind of been like a competition. They're on one side and me and T.J. McDonald are on the other side. It's been the upperclassmen against the underclassmen for who makes the most plays.
"They're not going to be throwing at Robert and Brandon. All I've been hearing from coaches and players is that I better be ready because they're going to be going at me. All I have to say is, ‘Bring it on.'
"I bring a lot of attitude and emotion to the field," Harris said. "I play with a lot of heart and a lot of attitude. I'm a playmaker. If there is a jump ball, I'm going to come down with it. I have very good hands and I have the ability to make plays.
"I play wide receiver as well. I've been playing a significant role on offense. I'm the third or fourth wide receiver for us on offense, but I like defense. Everything happens fast. You don't have time to think, and a lot of it is about reactions and attitude."
His ability and attitude have been showing up. Last spring he was impressive at the combines he participated in, and he's had a strong showing for Edison this summer.
"I went to the Nike combine at USC and I was named the top underclassmen at the entire camp," Harris said. "Then I went to the Scout combine and I was one of the top defensive backs at the camp, just behind Robert [Golden]."
Although Harris didn't play many snaps last season, his play at the combines and the seven-on-seven camps has caught the attention of some of the top programs.
"So far I've heard from Utah State, Oregon, Florida and Cal," Harris said. "I haven't heard from Notre Dame, but I'd be interested in hearing from them. I know every year that they recruit the top players, and I know it's a really good school to graduate from. I know they have a lot of tradition.
"I'd also like to hear from Miami, LSU and Tennessee. I really like a lot of the schools out East. It just seems like that's where most of the top competition is from. That where the best comes from."