Harper Gives Pitt a Big Leg

Mentor, Ohio native Kevin Harper became the most recent addition to the Class of 2008 for the Pittsburgh Panthers recently and if one thing is for certain, it's that the coaching staff will have a kicker with one heck of a leg coming into the mix on special teams. We caught up with Harper today to talk about his commitment and learned that he is a record-setting kicker.

Kevin Harper, a 6-foot, 185-pound kicker from Mentor High School in Ohio is rated the No. 5 kicker in the country by Scout.com and for good reason, having kicked 50 touchbacks in nine games this season. He was also 10 for 16 on field goals with longs of 58 and 61 yards, the latter being an all-time record for the state of Ohio.

"Pittsburgh was really the first school to start recruiting me and basically I was just very comfortable with the coaching staff," Harper explained. "Coach (Paul) Rhoads is a great guy and Coach (Charlie) Partridge seemed to be the most knowledgeable special teams coaches of all that I met, so I am confident that he can take me to the next level during my time at Pittsburgh. The whole staff just made a great impression and that was definitely one of the biggest reasons I chose Pittsburgh."

"The school is also only two hours from home, so I like that it is close enough to take a weekend trip to Mentor, but far away enough to get that college experience," Harper added. "I plan to red-shirt next year and then come in and handle kickoff and field goal duties after that and the academics seem great. I know they have a good business management program which is where I plan to focus my studies as I would like to get into pharmaceutical sales or some type of management position in the future. I think the last thing was just how the campus was set up. Going into my first of five visits I thought it would be more urban there, but it is a true college campus and everything was very centrally located, so I just was able to become very comfortable and familiar with everything quickly."

Harper also held offers from Kent and Marshall.

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