- Max Olson, ESPN Staff Writer
After signing two transfers for its 2012 class and landing a commitment from another for this year’s class, Texas isn’t finished recruiting junior colleges.
Contra Costa (Calif.) Community College coach Alonzo Carter confirmed that the Longhorns have offered a scholarship to offensive tackle Desmond Harrison.
The 6-foot-8, 300-pound lineman scheduled an official visit to Texas for Dec. 7 for the Longhorns’ banquet weekend.
The Longhorns’ interest began, Carter said, when tight ends coach Bruce Chambers visited Contra Costa earlier this fall during a California trip to see Butte (Calif.) College tight end pledge Geoff Swaim. Harrison received his official offer after offensive line coach Stacy Searels made a follow-up trip to the junior college.
Carter has ties to several members of the Longhorns staff. His offensive line coach, Thomas Byrd, played for Bryan Harsin at Boise State, and Carter has known Bo Davis since the UT defensive tackles coach was at Alabama.
“The Texas coaches love him,” Carter said. “Coach Searels called me and told me, ‘Coach, what do we got to do?’ They wanted to get him down there this weekend. I told him, 'Hey, no rush, he’ll come after the season and check out the campus.' Being from the state of Texas, he don’t have to sell him much.”
Harrison is currently on an official visit to NC State and has scheduled official visits for Iowa State and Arizona State. He’ll likely take an unofficial trip to Cal, and Carter said USC, Arkansas and Texas Tech are possibilities for his fifth official visit.
He played his high school ball at Greensboro (N.C.) Page, but he grew up in Marshall, Texas, and still has extended family in the state.
“When this recruiting process started, the two schools that he tabbed as his dream schools were Texas and USC,” Carter said. “He said, ‘Coach, if possible, I’d like to play at one of these two schools.’”
Carter said USC coaches have also stopped by to evaluate Harrison and could make an offer next week. The basketball player-turned-lineman holds more than 30 offers, including from Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Cal, Arizona State and Utah.
“He’s a very athletic kid with a skill set from out of this world,” Carter said. “He’s still got to be coached and has a long ways to go, but he’s so athletic and he’s got a little toughness and mean streak to him.
“He’s not your average big guy. He kind of reminds me of Shaq playing football. He has that kind of a personality.”
Harrison is not a candidate to enroll early and is planning to graduate in May or July. Carter said Texas coaches have also expressed interest in Damien Parris, a 6-foot-7, 295-pound offensive tackle for Contra Costa who holds more than 15 offers.
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