Harper On His Home Field At Nike

There was a serious look on the face of Arlington Lamar cornerback Madre Harper on Sunday afternoon. Harper was in the friendly confines of his home stadium at Lamar, Cravens Field, and he was surrounded by close to 100 of the best defensive backs in the southwest all competing in Nike's The Opening Dallas Regional.

It was just a few days before that Harper took some of the recruiting pressure off when he committed to Oklahoma State after making an unofficial visit to the Cowboys' Thursday spring practice.

"I also went on the official campus tour, you know the one that all students take," Harper said of his visit and what he did. "I got to see the whole campus and see how it was built and all the different building, different dorms, and where people eat. The full campus tour and the basketball arena because my dad loves basketball and we saw the girls practicing. I also went and ate at (Eskimo) Joe's. I really enjoyed myself."

He eyeballed practice for a long time standing with Mike Gundy, and I had to ask him what he was looking at to see if he would fit in and if Oklahoma State on defense was right for him.

"I'm looking for the schemes and if they fit me and what I can do and then I was looking for player excitement," Harper detailed. "I want to see players excited breaking on the ball and then the coaches. I really don't mind, and coach didn't really yell much yesterday, but I don't mind yelling.

"I want to see coaches pushing their players and working them to get better and have a chance at the next level and I saw that."

Harper does want to play at the next level. At 6-3 and 175 pounds he will have a frame that will excite any coach about his ability at corner. His speed is in the 4.5 flat range and maybe faster. He is involved in track with relays and the 200 and 400 meters.

He was a first-team All-District 4-6A corner last season and as a sophomore had 41 tackles with 14 passes broken up, an interception and a forced fumble. He has also trained in jiu jitsu.

He showed that competiveness on the field on Sunday and made several good plays in the one-on-one and seven-on-seven portion of the drills. His football is likely to take him far, but with a 3.7 GPA he was not kidding about the academics.

"My parents have told me to get my grades and my academics because it's not always about football," Harper said. "Football is paying my way to college but the first thing is getting my degree and then I want to have these grades so the coaches don't have to worry about me. I'm trying to make A's and I want to make all A's."

The third of the commitments for Oklahoma State in the 2016 class, Harper is the kind of player you really want in your program based on what I saw Sunday and what I've heard in interviewing the young man.

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