January 8, 2012

Elite 2013 safety makes the trip to Texas

Of all the players in attendance, Marcell Harris had one of the most impressive resumes at Friday's U.S. Army National Combine. The Groveland (Fla.) South Lake safety is already holding close to double-digit offers, and he's regarded as one of the top players at his position in the entire country.

While a lot of high-profile recruits shy away from camp settings due to a fear of hurting their recruiting stock, Harris goes the other direction. He loves to compete, he's confident in his abilities and he put them on display in the last week at both the Army Combine and the Under Armour Combine. The blue-chip safety impressed at both.

"I just like the competition level. Florida has great players and everybody is fast. It's good to get a different perspective of everybody's abilities and the game," Harris said. "When you go to college, you're not going to be playing against just guys from Florida.

"I like the competition. And everyone wants to get better at something."

Harris, who measured in at 6-1 and 204 pounds at the Army Combine, made the most of his time in Texas. After checking in for the combine in San Antonio, Harris and his family made the drive up I-35 North so the blue-chip prospects could take an unofficial visit to Texas.

"I went up there (Friday) night. It was pretty cool," Harris said. "Coach (Duane) Akina met with me and we took a little walk around the place. He showed me the weight room and some film rooms and meeting rooms."

Though most of the Texas coaching staff was out of town, Harris and his family did spend considerable time with Akina, the Longhorns' defensive backs coach. It was time well spent.

"It was cool. Coach Akina, he's a laid back guy," Harris said. "He's from Hawaii so he's got a little swag to him. It was pretty cool. He was just showing me the steps and the process on becoming a Longhorn.

The visit to Austin was actually Harris' second. He also made his way to the Forty Acres for a Texas summer camp in June. If things go well, he very well could be making a return visit as early as next month.

"(Akina) talked to me about their junior day in February sometime, so whenever that is I'll try to head out to it," Harris said. "He said as long as I'm interested in them, they're interested in me and hopefully I'll have an offer in February."

Harris is already holding scholarship offers from Florida, Florida State, LSU, North Carolina State, Notre Dame, South Florida, Temple and Tennessee. He does not yet have an official list of leaders, but said he'd like to visit several schools this spring for junior days, starting with those who have offered. He's in no rush to make a commitment, but did say he'd like to make his commitment before signing day of next year. Texas will be one of many vying for his signature.

"Texas is a good school. There's a lot of tradition there and they've had some good players," Harris said. "I think two of their safeties are leaving this year so there's opportunity for someone to come in and get a spot."

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