This summer, Mill Creek (Ga.) 2018 offensive lineman John Harris got a look at a few schools. He took in visits or camps to Virginia Tech, Mississippi State, Georgia Tech and Georgia State. And the first two weekends of the college football season, Harris took in games at Auburn and Clemson.
Last weekend, Harris got another look at the Hokies. He made his second unofficial visit to Blacksburg, this time for his first game experience, Virginia Tech’s 49-0 win over Boston College.
More visits are coming, but seeing the Hokies could put them in better position with Harris. In June, took part in Virginia Tech’s Atlanta satellite camp, then visited the next month after he received an offer. This visit gave him even more perspective.
“Before the game, we ate, which was good,” Harris said. “I don’t know who catered it, but it was really good. Me and my mom met with Coach Fuente before the game. He was saying he wants me to be a part of their family and I’m a big piece to their team. After that, he talked to all the recruits, brought out the academic advisors and talked about the academics side and how good it is. The atmosphere of the game was so cool. Before the game, when they have one side say ‘Let’s go’ and one side say ‘Ho-kies,’ it was so loud. I was at a loss of words for how nice it was. Then running out to ‘Enter Sandman,’ they told me about it, but seeing it in person, it gave me goosebumps, so it was super cool.”
Assistant coach Vance Vice has been Harris’ primary recruiter. They caught up a bit more on Saturday.
“I talked to him for a good bit while I was eating,” Harris said. “I call him every Wednesday. I think the relationship keeps getting better and better. Before, it wasn’t great, but the more I call him, it gets better. I guess we’re just getting a better relationship. He’s telling me to think Hokies. He’s told me things like being hard, smart and tough.”
After two visits to Blacksburg, Harris said Virginia Tech is in good position.
“Overall, I really like it because I really like the college town feel,” he said. “That’s something I like and that’s what Blacksburg is, a college town. I saw it on Saturday, how cool it was. They have really good academics, a small town atmosphere and everyone there just seems happy where they are, which is always good.”
With his other game visits, Harris said he also noticed a few things, from Auburn and Clemson.
“Auburn, there were so many people there,” he said. “I’m not sure if that was a regular occurrence, but there were a lot. Auburn is nice, but I don’t think that’s a regular occurrence. Clemson, it was cool seeing them run down the hill and let the balloons go. Other than that, nothing super stood out to me.”
Harris’ game visits are just beginning. This weekend, he plans to visit North Carolina and next weekend, he’ll be at LSU. To this point, Harris said the schools standing out to him are Virginia Tech, Clemson, Florida and North Carolina. But he’ll continue to evaluate each visit.
“The big thing is I really care about the coaches, care about the players,” he said. “They don’t just think they’re players. I wanna see them care about them as a person and develop them as men. Also, a good fan base, people who come out and support the football team. It’s hard to play when you don’t have anyone supporting you.”
Harris said he hasn’t thought of a top list, but hopes to make a decision by April. In the meantime, he hopes to elevate his status with his play on the field.
“I think my assignments, I know what I’m doing and how I’m blocking,” Harris said. “The thing I need to work on is getting my feet under me and not leaning as much. I’ve actually been working on it because I noticed it in my film. We’ve been working on it and it’s been showing up in practice.”