MATTHEWS, N.C. — If there’s a player in the 2018 class that beams and glows with excitement as a commitment for Tennessee, it’s Jatavious Harris.
“It’s been great, feeling great,” Harris told InsideTennessee. “A lot of pressure off of me now. Ready to go with it.”
The Baldwin (Ga.) High School standout gave his pledge to coach Butch Jones and the staff the night after the DISH Orange & White game on April 22.
“Well I liked the vibe that I had with the coaches, and it just hit me,” Harris said. “It hits you when you know that’s the team for you, and it just hit me. I went ahead and committed.
“It hit me like after the spring game when I got back and started playing with Alontae (Taylor), playing a little beanbag.”
Both Harris and Taylor figure to be learning the finer points of being a pass catcher at Wide Receiver U under assistant coach Kevin Beard. Chemistry is quickly developing between the two.
“We’ve been texting every day and keeping in touch. He’s like a brother already,” Harris said of Taylor. “We’re trying to room together and all that when I get up there.”
Beard played a key role in getting the binding handshake with Harris.
“(Beard) is a mentor,” Harris said. “He talks about more than just football. He’s a guy I look up to.”
The playmaker has been recruiting for Tennessee and has stayed in the ear of cornerback Jaycee Horn and linebacker Jacquez Jones. The Volunteers also have prospects silently committed who figure to further help the momentum of the 2018 class.
“When we get them, I already know we’re going to attract some more people and make some more people want to come,” Harris said.
The Baldwin rising senior returns to Knoxville in June to take part in an invite-only Orange Carpet Day recruiting event.
“I really just want to get there and just enjoy myself and just enjoy my new home,” Harris said.
He has been competing for his hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia, beyond the gridiron this spring. In the GHSA Class 4A 100-meter dash, Harris finished in first place, running a 10.65.
The Baldwin Braves open up their 2017 football season at Hancock Central on Aug. 18. The future Volunteer knows he has a target on his back.
“I’m really looking forward to it. Other teams are already (saying) they’re going to hold me and all of that. They’re hoping they can get offers off of me, but I ain’t worried about all of that,” he said.