Thursday, April 4, 2013
Seminoles make a move for Tampa ATH
By Corey Dowlar
Two-way prospect T.J. Harrell (Tampa, Fla./Tampa Catholic) had his first real opportunity to check out Florida State's campus Tuesday. And according to the 6-foot, 197-pound athlete, it didn't disappoint.
The tour was nice, he said, but a segment meeting he was able to sit in on was the marquee event.
"Oh my goodness, for the first time seeing the campus, I really did," Harrell said. "Other than the campus tour, I liked the campus tour a lot, but I really liked sitting in the meeting with the running backs. That was really the highlight of the day."
New running backs coach Jay Graham was breaking down the film of the day's practice, pointing out the good and the bad. And when he was finished, he turned to Harrell to give him a few suggestions as well.
"Coach Jay was teaching and that is why it was the highlight of my day," he said. "Not only did he point out the weaknesses of his players and everything, but he taught me a lot of things on the side that can help my game get better. He's just a good guy overall. I really like him."
As an accomplished safety, Harrell could play on either side of the ball at the next level. Florida State, though, has decided on one for him.
"They really pointed out to me that they want me as a running back," Harrell said. "I'll play any position. I don't really have a preference."
Another detail, however, will be the primary factor in Harrell's decision, along with academics, playing time and all the usual wants.
"It is going to be more about the coaches and the relationships," he said. "Because the position, I can play any position, that's not even going to be a factor. It is going to be about the relationship with coaches and all the other good things."
On his way out, Harrell got some one-on-one time with coach Jimbo Fisher. Florida State's top man talked over Harrell's visit and the recruiting process.
Because of his offensive background, Fisher's words meant a little more to Harrell.
"I talked to every coach there," he said. "I talked to Jimbo last. I liked the way that he pointed out that he really likes me as a running back. With him being and offensive guy, that really meant a lot. It is big for a head coach to tell you how much he wants you to be his running back."
After getting in the car and making the trip south back to his home, Harrell's reflection on his time in Tallahassee was a good one. And from the sounds of it, the Seminoles could be in it for him all the way to the finish.
"Absolutely," Harrell began. "It definitely -- they stand out among a lot of schools. That is one good thing. There are going to be a lot more visits to come, but I known that Florida State is definitely going to stand out."