“They had came this morning while I was working out and I said hi to them and they called me over and said we like you a lot, your work ethic and film and said you have a scholarship at SMU and there it was,” Harper said.
Since Morris has been hired, SMU has been sending out offers all over the DFW Metroplex, something Harper recognized is a good recipe for success.
“It was a really exciting because SMU is a good school and a good program,” the 6-2, 170-pound corner said. “I know they’re offering a lot of dudes in the DFW area so it’s not like we don’t have an abundance of talent in this area and Texas in general. It’s a really great offer and great education so I’m very happy.”
SMU also landed a commit from 2015 offensive lineman Keaton Bates, a teammate of Harper’s and has also offered 2016 lineman Chris Owens and quarterback Shane Buechele, all from Lamar. Is SMU trying to build a pipeline?
“It was kind of weird with all of us from the same school getting these offers from SMU. I’m not sure if Shane or Chris want to go to SMU, but I know that they know that it’s a good offer and it’s one of the top ones on my list,” Harper said. “Obviously, Keaton is committed there and he’ll try and push us to SMU. Who knows? We might end up all going to the same school.”
After working out, Harper had the chance to talk more with Morris and an assistant.
“They said they were really excited to have me and think I’d be a good addition to their team,” Harper said. “A lot of schools are having their junior days soon so I’m going to be going out there and getting the information for that. It’s so close. I don’t understand why I wouldn’t go.”
With the new staff, the reset button has been hit, which means there’s going to be plenty of opportunities to contribute early. Harper wants to see the field as soon as possible.
“A whole new staff, everything is on a even playing field, they don’t have any favorites or anything like that so he says the depth chart is pretty open so I can come in and compete. That’s what I like to hear because I would obviously like to play all my years of college and not sit the bench.”
Harper recognizes the positives of a degree from SMU if football doesn’t continue at the next level.
“It’s obviously a great education and school to go to. It’s a private school so small class-wise. Even if football doesn’t take me anywhere but college, it’d still help me because I’d have a great education and connections,” Harper said. “It’s local so my parents can still see me and it’s not a bad choice at all.”
Harper admits he wants to win and have a great defensive backs coach, but rebuilding isn’t an issue as long as progress is being made.
“Rebuilding is not much of an issue, but I’d like to see progress in the type of recruits that they’re bringing in so that we can compete with other schools in our conference, go to bowl games, win championships and have that high-caliber team.”
After his junior season at Lamar, Harper says he’s made big strides in showing what college coaches want to see, but is all-around a good defensive back for his team.
“I can playing the deep ball, being aggressive, making open field tackles, playing the short game and I’ve got great hips.”