Print and Go Back LSU Tigers [Print without images]

Thursday, May 16, 2013
Harris to name top six after scrimmage

By Gary Laney

For quarterback Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway), the schedule book is starting to fill.

The first day to mark off the calendar is Thursday, when his Parkway team scrimmages Alexandria (La.) Senior High to conclude spring drills. He'll play in front of coaches from several major colleges. At the end of the scrimmage, sometime around 7 p.m, he'll announce which six schools he plans on visiting this summer.

"It's going to be a big day," he said. "I can't wait."

He's giving himself until July 18 to make those six visits. Harris tweeted on Tuesday that that's the day he plans on making his college choice. He said he wants to choose this summer to get the process over. He plans on graduating from high school at the end of the fall semester and enrolling at his chosen school in the spring semester.

Brandon Harris
Bossier City (La.) Parkway QB Brandon Harris is rated ESPN's No.5 dual-threat prospect.
The spring scrimmage wraps up a big spring in which his stock rose quickly. After excelling at the Dallas Elite 11 competition, Harris picked up offers from the likes of Alabama, Ohio State and, most recently, LSU. Most offered after coming to Parkway and watching the 6-foot-2, 193-pound Harris throw in person.

Harris received rave reviews from LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, who came by Parkway to watch him throw last week. The offer from LSU came a day later.

"He mainly liked my arm strength," Harris said. "He told me I have arm strength a lot like Zach [Mettenberger, the Tigers' starting quarterback]."

The arm strength has always been there for Harris. It's just been a matter of him getting people to see it. Harris didn't start for Parkway until 2012 after backing up Kolby Copeland, another high-end talent who wound up signing a pro baseball contract after being drafted in the third round of the 2012 baseball draft by the Miami Marlins.

"I got off to kind of a late start," Harris said.

But he put up huge numbers in his first season as a starter for the Panthers, passing for 2,678 yards and 26 touchdowns and adding 677 rushing yards while leading the Panthers to an 11-2 record and a trip to the Louisiana Class 5A quarterfinals.

He followed that by taking to the camp circuit. He impressed at camps such as the NUC Baton Rouge, then came the bigger stage at the Elite 11/NFTC camp in Dallas.

All along, Harris got bigger, stronger and more impressive. At the late-February NUC event, Harris said he checked in an 182 pounds. He said he'll play the spring game at 6-2 1/2, 193 pounds.

"If you saw me at the beginning of spring, I was this skinny guy," he said. "I've been adding bulk."

Teams have noticed. In one spring, Harris has gone from a relative unknown to the most sought-after Louisiana quarterback since at least 2008, when LSU signed Jordan Jefferson (who was the last in-state quarterback to get an LSU offer before Harris).

Just because LSU has offered, it doesn't follow that the Tigers are necessarily the odds-on favorite. Harris wouldn't hint at a leader Wednesday night, saying it's wide open.

It'll be less wide open after Parkway's spring game. And it'll be over by mid-July, when Harris will complete his trek from obscurity a year ago to picking a major college power to play for a month before he starts his senior season.