Harris discusses strength of USC commitment

Peach State defensive end Mason Harris has been committed to South Carolina since last summer, but the explosive defender is being pursued heavily by Miami down the stretch of this recruiting cycle. Harris made his official visit to USC this weekend and enjoyed his time in Columbia. What did he have to say about the status of his Gamecock commitment following the trip? Read inside to find out.

Mason Harris, a three-star prospect out of Ridgeland High School in Rossville, Georgia, said he thoroughly enjoyed his official visit to South Carolina this weekend, and he had fun hanging out with several of his fellow Gamecock commitments.

"I had a good time. I had fun hanging out with everybody," said Harris. "We're all pretty good friends now. I got to hang out with Kyle Harris, KJ (Brent), Kadetrix Marcus, and a few other guys. It was real fun. We were all talking about how fun it would be if we all go here."

According to Harris, another highlight of the visit was attending the South Carolina - Kentucky basketball game on Saturday night, where at halftime Coach Steve Spurrier addressed the crowd, honored several of the top performers from USC's 2010 season, and showed off the trophies from the "state championship" win against Clemson and the SEC Eastern Division title.

"We all went out, and we went to the basketball game last night. The atmosphere was pretty good the whole game. The halftime was cool, the crowd was really into it."

Harris, who was hosted on his visit by recently enrolled defensive lineman Kelcy Quarles, also got an opportunity to interact quite a bit with USC's coaches while in Columbia, especially recruiter G.A. Mangus and defensive line coach Brad Lawing. The Gamecock coaches discussed how they plan to utilize Harris' talents next season if he ends up in the garnet and black.

"I talked with several of the coaches. I spoke with Coach Lawing about what my role would be next year. He said next year I'll definitely play on third downs (at defensive end), and then when I get bigger I'll play every down. Next year I‘ll definitely be a third down pass rusher."

Measuring in at 6-3 and 207 pounds, Harris admittedly still has some growing to do, but scouts rave about his explosiveness and athletic ability off the edge. Harris was a Class AAA all-state selection in the state of Georgia following his senior season after he racked up over 100 tackles and 15 sacks from his defensive end position. That production did not go unnoticed, as Miami's new staff, under head coach Al Golden, is pushing hard for Harris to visit and switch his commitment to the Hurricanes. Fresh off his visit to South Carlina, Harris discussed his plans regarding Miami and the status of his commitment to the Gamecocks.

"I'm going to visit Miami on Thursday, that's my plan. We'll see from there. That's the only other school I'm looking at other than South Carolina," he said. "I've never been to Miami before. Coach Mike Barrow, I like him a lot. The way he talks and the way he is as a person, I really like him. I'm excited to get down there and see what they've got. I love South Carolina though. There's probably a good chance that's where I'll be going."

When asked to describe the strength of his commitment to the Gamecocks, Harris replied, "I feel I'm ninety-seven percent committed."

Stay tuned to GamecockAnthem.com and Scout.com for all the latest on Harris leading up to signing day.

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