GSP Player Profile: SoCal DE Logan Harrell

Santa Margarita (Calif.) defensive end Logan Harrell has had two steady influences in his life, who've tasted their own success in the realm of football, and he's benefited from their impact...

Santa Margarita (Calif.) defensive end Logan Harrell is no stranger to the game of bigtime college football.

The son of Robert Harrell, a former lineman with Florida, Harrell is also the godson of NFL Hall of Famer Jack Youngblood, himself an ex-Gator.

"My dad and Jack have taught me a lot about the game," said Harrell. "How you're supposed to mentally prepare yourself for what you're going to be doing. About the game of football itself. They've been a huge impact."

Harrell saw plenty of press clippings as he was growing up, prominently mentioning his father.

"My dad has a bunch of old newspaper articles from when he played in high school and in college. There's pictures of him and Jack in there. It's pretty cool. My dad was the first high school player in Florida to make all-state for both the defensive and offensive line. He has a bunch of stuff from when he played in high school and in Florida's 100 year of Gator Football book, there are a bunch of pictures."

Harrell has grown up in a Gator household, despite being clear on the other side of the country in Southern California, where USC and UCLA dominate the local press.

"I've never been that big of a fan of USC or UCLA," said Harrell. "My dad obviously having played for Florida has been a reason I've been a fan of Florida for a while. We go back down there every year. Down there, being at a Florida game is unlike any college game out there. The fans out there are so die hard. The stadium is insane. They live for college football."

Harrell was back in The Swamp for the Gators' win over Florida State earlier this year, and the Gators have expressed some interest in him.

"The coach came out here recruiting Darrell Scott and Birmingham's running back (Milton Knox)," said Harrell. "The coaches said they've filled their scholarships for this year, so they offered me a preferred walk-on position. They filled up their scholarships really fast and with kids that were committed to Florida State or Miami who decommitted, they didn't have any more left."

In fact, it was a game against Scott and St. Bonaventure that Harrell caught the eye of the Florida coaching staff.

In the season opener, Santa Margarita had a late lead against the Seraphs, only to see it escape and the Seraphs win. But the Eagles defense stymied Scott, holding him to 73 yards, his lowest output in three seasons.

"The coaches watched the film and saw what he did against Darrell Scott. They checked online and saw his name and asked if that was Robert Harrell's kid," said his father Robert. "They got in touch with us not too long afterwards. Jeremy Foley (the Florida A.D.) was in school when me and Jack were there and wondered about him."

Still, with several scholarships going to players in the past few years, the Gators didn't have a scholarship spot available to give Harrell, but he's taken that in stride.

"I don't know about walking on," said Harrell. "I want to go somewhere where I can go on scholarship. LSU is still watching film and evaluating and it's a dead period. So the last we heard from them, they wanted some game film to see."

Between the schools who have offered Harrell, Fresno State, where he visited earlier this month, stands out as the leader.

"The team is a really tight knit group and I felt like one of them. Just they way they worked and watching them practice, they really get at it. They don't take things easy. Plus, I'll have a good chance at starting my first year which is huge for me," said Harrell.

Washington State came in this last week and offered Harrell and he's planning a visit up to the Palouse to get a better look at the program. Oregon had been in contact and looked like they would be setting up a trip, but Harrell said he's uncertain if that visit will be taken.

Next month, Harrell will play in the SoCal Bowl, a game featuring players from Orange County and San Diego County against players from the Inland Empire.

"That's going to be real exciting," said Harrell. "I don't have to worry about getting injured, I have time to recuperate. I'm really looking forward to playing in that game. I'll get to hang out with the local guys and it will be cool to get to know some other players."

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