Athlete Victor Harris (6'1, 190, 4.46) of Highland Springs, Va. is one of the best pure athletes in the country. Harris is being recruited on both sides of the ball and that includes the Sooners, who like him as a cornerback. Recently, Harris along with his head coach Scott Burton, talked to OUInisder.com about his ability and about the recruiting process.
JH: People like Victor Harris as a running back and a cornerback (OU). Do you feel he is better as an offensive player or defensive player?
Scott Burton: "For us it makes a lot of sense to get the ball in his hands as many times as we can. That is why he plays running back for us. Certainly, he has the ability to do those things at the next level and be a great college running back. His versatility is a strength, and when you consider his size and speed and that combination, it is probably more difficult to find somebody with that combination as a defensive back than it is as a running back. In the long run, if he has a future beyond the collegiate level it is probably on defense, and that is kind of where he is leaning at this point and time. However, that is not a definitive decision."
JH: How would you describe his style of play?
SB: "He is explosive and one of those guys who is literally a threat to go all the way every time he touches the ball. Not only is he a threat, but you kind of expect him to. That is pretty lofty to be able to say that."
JH: He sounds like a great team oriented player as well?
SB: "He is the kind of kid that lights up a room when he walks in. He is very charismatic and he enjoys the spotlight, but he still has the ability to stay humble. He is not a me guy first and that is kind of refreshing to coach a kid like that. He truly wants to get better, and normally when you lay down a challenge to him or a hurdle for him to leap over to make him better, then he accepts that challenge and gets over it. That is why he has improved so much over the last couple of years."
JH: What does Victor do for you on special teams?
SB: "He returns kick and he returned two punt returns for touchdowns last year and he three that were called back. He averaged like 31 yards and change on punt returns and 35 to 40 yards on kick-offs. It really doesn't matter where or how the ball gets into his hands, but when the ball does get into his hands he does have the ability to take it to the house."
JH: What kind of role will you play in Victor's recruiting? And can you see him leaving the state or the area?
SB: "He has said early in the process that staying close to home is not a top priority for him. He just wants to find the right fit and the right relationship and the connections that he can make with the staff that he chooses to play for. However, this is June and as we get close to signing day it may become more realistic for him that leaving the state is going a long way from home. I don't know if that feeling will continue or if he will kind of want to be a home boy as we get closer or not.
"My role will be as active as he wants me to be. Different kids have different needs. If the kid needs me to be involved then I will if they don't then I won't. Regardless of how active they need me to be, as a staff well go through an education process on recruiting with all of our kids that will be recruited."
VICTOR HARRIS INTERVIEW:
JH: You are ranked as one of the 25th best player in the country according to The Insiders Network. What do you think about that?
VH: "It feels good, but first of all I want to thank God for all of this happening because without him I wouldn't be accomplishing these things. I feel good because I have worked hard and I have put hard work and dedication into it and the results have come out pretty good. So, I feel pretty good about it."
JH: I know you play both running back and cornerback, so which position do you like best?
VH: "It doesn't matter to me. I am a team player and I will play where ever the team needs me. When I look at the college game there are not many college programs that have cornerbacks my size. I think that will be my ticket right there in college and the pros."
JH: Oklahoma likes you as a cornerback and they have recruited you as a cornerback from day one. Does that impress when an elite school knows where they want you to play and they don't beat around the bush about it?
VH: "Yes, that impresses me. And that is one of the things that I have liked about Oklahoma."
JH: Talk about your style of play?
VH: "As a defensive player I am a player that goes and gets it. I can be on one side of the field and they can run the ball away from me and I am still trying to go get the ball. I like I have a vicious mentality and I play a very aggressive game on defense. On offense, I am very elusive, powerful and I have great feet."
JH: Have you been to any camps or to any schools unofficially this offseason?
VH: "No, sir. I have stayed home this summer. We go to a team camp at Virginia Tech in two weeks."
JH: You have narrowed your choices down to 12 haven't you? Who are they?
VH: "I don't know if I can do that in my head because my list is at home. Let's see I am interested in Michigan, Miami, Virginia Tech, Virginia and that is all that I can think of at this time. (With that being the case we go to the data base on The Insiders Network and the Magic 12 also include Florida, Florida State, Georgia, LSU, Maryland, Nebraska, USC and Oklahoma).
JH: What are your thoughts on Oklahoma?
VH: "I only saw them play two times and they split those two games. It seems like to me that they have a good coaching staff and they play as a team. They work with each other very well and I like that."
JH: Is distance a factor with you?
VH: "Distance is not a factor with me right now."
JH: What are the key factors in your decision?
VH: "I look for depth at my position. I look for academic support and then I look for the coach and player bond. I am not sure what I want to major in, but when I decided that then it will be important for that school to have that major for me."
JH: What do you know about the Oklahoma football program right now?
VH: "That is what I need to find out. I know a little bit about the cornerbacks at OU, but not enough to make a decision on their defense about."
JH: Do you feel that Oklahoma will be one of the schools that you will visit?
VH: "I can't say yet, but they probably will be one of the schools that I visit."
JH: Have you grown up a fan of a certain team or teams?
VH: "Yes, sir. Miami and Michigan."
JH: Is it safe to stay that those two schools are high on your list?
VH: "Right now all of the schools are on the same level with me. Just because they were my favorite team when I was a youngster doesn't have anything to do with my decision right now."
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