Harris relishes tour

A talented young linebacker commitment may be even more strongly committed to Tennessee following his official visit this weekend.

Christian Harris of Etowah High in Woodstock, Ga., previously made unofficial visits to Tennessee for Junior Day, last spring's Orange & White Game, plus the Florida and Ole Miss games this fall. His official visit was the best one yet, however.

"It went great," he said by phone. "I got to hang out with all of the players and got to know the coaches more. I feel like more a part of the program now, and I'm looking forward to going there."

Asked about the highlights of his visit, Harris replied: "Getting to view all of the new facilities that are being built. And (freshman linebacker) John Propst was the guy that took me around. He's pretty cool."

Although he enjoyed his unofficial visits, Harris said the official visit was more substantial and meaningful.

"You're staying the night," he said. "And it's more of a planned deal, there's more to do."

Harris recorded 127 tackles and two interceptions as a senior at Etowah High this fall. He also caught "a couple of passes" at tight end. His college future definitely is as a defender, based on what he's hearing from Tennessee defensive coordinator Justin Wilcox and linebacker coach Lance Thompson.

"They project me to play Mike (middle linebacker)," Harris said, "but Coach Thompson wants me to know every linebacker position. I played Mike my senior year, Sam (strong side linebacker) my junior year."

At 6-2 and 230 pounds, he has good size for the middle linebacker position. He's willing to add weight if necessary, however.

"The coaches told me I'm pretty much where I need to be," Harris said. "They just want me to maintain my weight, then they'll see when I get on campus if they want me to put on a few pounds."

This is a great time for linebacker prospects to be joining Tennessee's program. Three of the Vols' top six 2010 linebackers - starters Nick Reveiz and LaMarcus Thompson, plus key reserve Savion Frazier - will be out of collegiate eligibility in a month. That suggests Harris has a golden opportunity to contribute early.

"I definitely feel good about my chances," he said. "I definitely think I have a shot at earning some time. Whether it's starting or coming off the bench, I think I can help."

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