Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Ohio State 2014 spotlight: WR Harris
By Brad Bournival
Throughout the next few months, BuckeyeNation will look further into those juniors offered by Ohio State. We’ll give as much detail as we can and go behind the scenes to see why these class of 2014 standouts are so attractive to the Buckeyes. First on the list of wide receivers is Drake Harris, who had a record-breaking junior season.
Vitals: Harris (Grand Rapids, Mich./Grand Rapids Christian) is 6-foot-3 and 180 pounds.
Status: He committed to Michigan State in June, but opened his commitment up after picking up offers from Alabama and Ohio State in January. On March 11, he officially gave his decommitment to the Spartans.
ESPN.com ranking: He’s an ESPN Watch List wide receiver who will likely be ranked highly when the ESPN 150 and 300 lists come out. Offered by more than 15 schools, he’ll be one of the most heavily recruited wide receivers in the country. The fact he’s a two-sport standout -- he’s an excellent basketball player as well -- shows how athletic he is. After flirting with the idea of playing two sports, Harris has indicated he’ll stick to the gridiron.
Numbers game: In high school, statistics like these are almost unheard of. Harris led Grand Rapids Christian to a Division 4 state title this season in style, recording eight catches for a state championship record 243 yards and a touchdown. He finished the season with 91 catches for 2,016 yards and scored 23 touchdowns.
State of the position: With scholarships handed out to slot receivers and ESPN 150 standouts Jalin Marshall (Middletown, Ohio/Middletown) and Dontre Wilson (DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto) as well as four-star standouts James Clark (New Smyrna Beach, Fla./New Smyrna Beach) and Corey Smith (Akron, Ohio/East Mississippi Community College), the wideout position is strong. However, Smith only has three years to play two seasons and Harris is one of the top-flight wide receivers in the 2014 class.
What has caught Ohio State’s eye: In a word, everything. He has the height to play out wide and at 6-3 can certainly go up for any ball within his reach. He has incredible hands -- see the 91 catches he made last season -- and has run the 40-yard dash in 4.5 seconds. Those numbers, along with the incredible stats he put up as a junior, have everybody's attention. He’s trying to make it to Columbus, Ohio, in April or May and is being recruited heavily by ESPN Watch List cornerback and Ohio State pledge Damon Webb (Detroit/Cass Tech).
What he has said about the Buckeyes: “I was really happy about the whole thing. I mean, Ohio State is a great university and just getting an offer from them says a lot. Urban Meyer is a great coach and he flew up here [and met with my coaches], so, I mean, that meant a lot to me.”