"I knew I was going to get more offers, but Ole Miss was that first big offer," Harrell said. "Coach Freeze told me when I committed that I had to be one of the best players in the country, but he told me that other schools were going to come after me hard."
Freeze wasn't kidding, as schools like Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Florida State, North Carolina and Tennessee all extended scholarship offers over the following two weeks. Harrell de-committed earlier this week, choosing to slow down and evaluate all schools equally.
"I knew eventually my hard work was going to pay off because I believed in myself," said Harrell. "I didn't get down on myself when I wasn't being recruited. My coach was telling me (last season) that it was still early for my class to be recruited, so I just believed that my time was going to come and people were going to look at me to see the talent that I have."
One of the schools that saw the talent of the 6-2, 295-pound offensive lineman was Marshall and then-assistant coach Thomas Brown. Having transitioned to his new role at Wisconsin, Brown extended an offer to Harrell Wednesday.
"We already had a really good connection," said Harrell of Brown. "He's a great guy. We talk almost every day about stuff not related to football. We talk about school, how things are going and everything else not related to football."
Just as important as the relationship Harrell – a three-star prospect by Scout.com - has with Brown is the fact that Harrell views Wisconsin's offensive line tradition in high regard.
"I know Wisconsin always has great offensive linemen and great running backs," said Harrell. "I turn on the TV and watch Wisconsin every once in awhile. I see the size of their offensive linemen and their good backs, like Montee Ball, you can't beat that."
Harrell is waiting to develop spring visits until he sits down with his parents, adding that he hopes to take some officials before making another college decision. In the meantime, Harrell is working on his strength, flexibility and athleticism.
"I think my (athleticism) is what separates me from a lot of offensive linemen," said Harrell. "Most offensive linemen my size are big, can't move and are real slow. I can run anything coaches need me to run. I can play virtually every position on the offensive line. I can play left tackle, left guard or right guard, and I am working on my center snapping."