WSU looking at California RB

ANDRE HARRIS has seen a hike in his recruiting stock on the strength of his LA combine performance. The Woodlands High, Calif., running back out of Taft High also knows a thing or two on the importance of promoting himself, recently initiating contact with Harris spent over 40 minutes on the final day of the May evaluation period talking to WSU. This article is free, plus over 6 minutes of video on Harris is available for CF.C subscribers.

Harris, (6-0, 217, 4.60) is expected to be one of the top 5 prep backs in California this coming season, according to Andrew Friedman, analyst. Indeed, today, he was named to ESPN's Top 50 running back prospects for the Class of 2006, along with James Montgomery and Tracy Slocum, two backs who hold offers from WSU. In Harris's recent conversation with WSU running backs coach Kelly Skipper, he came away impressed with both Skipper and Washington State.

"It went pretty good," Harris told "He told me he was going to come by (later this summer). He told me to keep doing good in school. He showed a lot of interest in me...He was real cool, down to earth."

In addition to Washington State, Harris said he's hearing the most from USC, Cal, Nevada, Louisville, Mississippi State, UCLA and Colorado.

"Probably Cal and USC," said Harris when asked if he had a favorite, adding that he remains wide open.

Harris said with the exception of Mississippi State, who are recruiting him as a linebacker, everyone is looking at him at running back. Harris has yet to receive his first offer but said he gets the sense the first won't be too far down the road.

"A lot of people are just telling me to stay on top of my grades, and some are saying they want to see how I do on my senior season," he said. Harris has a 2.8 GPA and will be taking the SAT later this summer.

THE THICK GRASS at El Camino College slowed down 40 times during the combine in LA, but Harris still clocked a 4.6. Out of 17 running backs, the time on the slow turf was good enough to place him in the Top 4.

"It went pretty well," he said. "I ran my 40 and that was a good time, with a lot of the running backs running a 4.7 or 4.8."

This season, he'll ply his wares for Taft, having transferred over from Palisades High. Harris was on a 1-9 team in 2004, averaging 11 carries a game. He didn't become the starter until Week 3 and never rushed the ball more than 16 times in a game. As a junior, he rushed for 693 yards on 103 carries, (6.73 ypc), adding 3 TDs. On defense, he had 12 tackles and returned a pick 99 yards for a score from his strong safety spot.

His June strength numbers include a bench of: 310-pounds, a squat of 440, and a power clean of 245. His vertical leap has been measured at 33 inches.

"I'm very versatile," said Harris. "I'm big, but I have some speed. Its hard for linemen to catch me, and its hard for DBs to tackle me."

He also said he has a good set of hands but hasn't had many opportunities, hoping he sees more passes coming his way at Taft.

AT THE NEXT LEVEL, Harris said the chance to earn early playing time will factor into his decision. He holds no preference between a larger city or smaller town, and said distance will not be a factor. He just wants to play ball.

In a position coach, Harris hopes to study under a good teacher and someone with whom he can have a solid relationship with that transcends football.

"Somebody I can talk to," said Harris. "And someone who will tell me what I'm doing wrong and how to improve."

Andre Harris profile and three video clips

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