|40 Speed:||4.3 seconds|
|Hometown/School:||Hamden, Ct. (Hyde Leadership HS)|
Two years ago on a sunny day in April, a couple hundred athletes descended upon Happy Valley to take part in the 2003 version of the Nike Camp. While most of the players that stood out were seniors-to-be, three rising juniors made a big impression on those watching from the sidelines. The first two, Derrick Williams and Justin King, are mentioned as two of the top players in the country no matter which website or magazine you read. The third, Willie Harriot, isn't surrounded by the hype of the first two, but that hasn't stopped him from amassing a pile of offers from the nation's most elite programs.
At 5'9.5'', 175 pounds, Willie ran a 4.3 flat forty at Florida State's camp last summer. That speed makes him a dangerous home run threat at both wide receiver and cornerback. Which position are colleges recruiting him to play?
"It started as an athlete, but I went to receiver [at camps] and [colleges] started sending me letters about that too," explained Willie, adding Penn State wants him as a wide receiver, but will let him choose.
According to Willie, four teams have risen above the rest for his services -- Florida State, Miami, Penn State, and Virginia Tech. While the Nittany Lions and Hokies have offered, the 'Noles and 'Canes have not.
Do Penn State and Virginia Tech have the edge because of their offers?
"No. Everybody has an equal chance," explained the soft-spoken speedster, who also has offers from Connecticut, Indiana, Maryland, Syracuse, and Wisconsin.
What does he like about each school?
Florida State - "The tradition. I'm a big Deion (Sanders) fan and that's where he came from; that's where he made his name."
Penn State - "Great atmosphere."
Miami - "They have a tradition."
Virginia Tech - "They're just someplace I'd like to play."
Of his four favorites, Willie has not been to Miami. He visited Virginia Tech (this summer) and Florida State (last summer) for football camps. He attended both a Nike Camp and the 2003 match up against Boston College at Penn State.
Willie does not have any of his five official visits set up yet.
"I'm going to take all of them, just to see, to make sure I'm not making a mistake on where I go," said Willie. "I will wait until signing day to decide."
(Interview by Steve Curry)