Nigel Harris plans visit to Nashville

Nigel Harris was offered a football scholarship by Vanderbilt in the spring of 2011 following a sensational sophomore season at Hillsborough High School. The 6-foot-2, 200-pound inside linebacker backed up his eye-opening performance with an equally impressive junior season landing on the Second Team All-County team by The Tampa Tribune. Harris now holds six Division 1 offers.

"My latest offer came from UMass," said Nigel Harris. "I received an offer recently from Western Kentucky. My other offers are from UAB, Purdue, Vanderbilt, and USF. I've only been on one junior day visit to South Florida. I'm planning on going back for a spring practice."

Although Harris has yet to visit Nashville and the Vanderbilt campus, he's been keeping in touch with the coaching staff since the offer was extended and has plans on making the trip in the near future.

"I first heard about the [Vanderbilt] offer from a text from my Dad," Harris stated. "I'll be visiting in mid-April for the spring game.

"Usually I stay in touch with Coach Gattis by email or I'll give him a shout on the phone. The staff seems like they do a good job of taking care of their players. They've shown me a lot of love and have done a good job keeping in contact with me. I can't wait to get up there and see the campus. I'm going with my Dad and my teammate, Jordan Sherit, who also has an offer."

Harris helped his school, located in Tampa's historic Seminole Heights, to a second place finish to Seffner Armwood, the eventual 6A state champion, in their District (Florida 8/6A).

"At my high school I play inside linebacker," Harris explained, "but I'm being recruited as a safety-outside linebacker hybrid.

"This season I has 90 tackles. As a sophomore I made 95. My best strength is my run defense. I can get to the line of scrimmage in a hurry with my speed to fill the hole and stuff out the long runs. I have good tackling ability and the speed necessary to drop back into coverage."

The Hillsborough Terrier coaches used Harris in a variety of ways last season. They put in him the backfield at running back where he punched in three touchdowns. In the Sickles game, Harris carried the ball in the endzone from 1-yard out and added another 18-yard scamper for a score in the fourth quarter to seal the victory. He was also Coach Earl Garcia's punter averaging 37.2 yards-per-punt over 12 games.

"Next season I want to have more tackles and interceptions this before," said Harris, "but more importantly I wanted to be a leader for my team and help us to win a state championship. It's going to be my senior year, so I want to have fun and enjoy it. I'm not going to worry about making a commitment until next February on signing day.

"I'm a smaller linebacker, so I'd like to play in a 4-3 defense in college. I'd like to go to a school with a good fanbase, one that offers a nice living environment to spend the next four to five years of my life, and play with coaches and teammates who want to win as a team."

Harris competes in the 110 meter hurdles, the 400 meter dash, and the 4X1 relay events in track. He's in advanced placement classes at Hillsborough reporting a high GPA of 4.07. Top Stories