Wisconsin makes favorable impression

Badgers lead with Florida wide receiver, but he wants to take two more official visits

Xavier Harris took his official visit to the University of Wisconsin football program last weekend (Dec. 9) with some particular goals in mind.

"I mostly just wanted to know about the academics," said Harris, a class of 2006 wide receiver prospect at Fort Lauderdale (Fla.) High School. "It's obvious that it's a good football program."

After visiting Madison, Wis., attending a couple Badger bowl practices, touring Camp Randall, the Fetzer Academic Center and other campus facilities, Harris came away impressed.

"It was great," he said. "…I got all of my questions answered."

More than anything, Harris was asking himself the following question while taking his first official visit: "Could I see myself living there for the next four to five years?"

The answer?

"I could see myself living there for the next four to five years," Harris said. "Academics is great. I want to major in business/real estate. It's the second best in that field in the country. That's a major plus."

Harris' host was freshman tight end Jae McFadden, who, like Harris, is a native of Florida. Harris had not previously met McFadden, who attended Dwyer High School in Palm Beach Gardens, but he did know UW freshman linebacker Elijah Hodge, a product of Fort Lauderdale's Dillard High School.

"I knew Elijah Hodge from before," Harris said. "… His school is like probably 10 minutes away from my school."

Harris is being recruited by UW defensive coordinator and future head coach Bret Bielema, and wide receivers coach Henry Mason.

"Both of them, they're just great guys, down to earth," Harris said. "They're honest, as far as I know. The vibe that they gave me was just great. I think both of them, they're nice guys."

Wisconsin has been recruiting Harris since offering him during his junior year.

"It was probably one of the first schools to offer me," Harris said.

In addition to Wisconsin, Harris has scholarship offers from, among others, Auburn, Clemson, Iowa, North Carolina State, Central Florida, South Florida, Michigan State and Rutgers. He has three favorites.

"If I had to rank them I would say Wisconsin, Clemson and Michigan State," Harris said.

While the Badgers are currently Harris' leader, he still plans to take official visits to Clemson and Michigan State before making his final decision.

"Most likely I'm going to take the rest of my visits before I decide because I don't want to, as (my high school) coaches say, ‘Take the first girl to come along,'" Harris said. "I'll wait it out. But I think in the end I'll make the right decision."

"I'm supposed to go Clemson Jan. 13 and Michigan State we're still in the process," Harris said. "Because with all-star games and all those type of things and school is out for them, so it wouldn't make sense for me to go up there without the students being up there. We're just trying to get something worked out."

What does Harris like about Clemson and Michigan State?

"What I like about Clemson is (it is) a little closer to home, obviously the weather is probably more favorable to the Florida weather that I'm used to," he said. "It's a good football program.

"And just I don't want to go somewhere that's like a big, big, big town. Clemson isn't that big. It's a big football town but it's not a huge city. That's a good thing. I guess (it will) keep me out of trouble. That's a good way to say it."

"Michigan State they throw the ball around," Harris said. "And as a wide receiver you can't beat that. A school that spreads it, four wide, five wide, you can't beat that."


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