NCF On The Trail: Brandon Harris

Midyear signings: LSU

January, 16, 2014
Jan 16
3:06
PM ET
According to ESPN's Gerry Hamilton, the following players have enrolled at LSU:

Brandon Harris, QB-DT, Bossier City, La./Parkway
HT: 6-foot-2 WT: 186 pounds
Position rank: No. 2
Stars: 4
ESPN 300: No. 37

Edward Paris Jr., S, Arlington, Texas/Timberview
HT: 6-0 WT: 201
Position rank: No. 4
Stars: 4
ESPN 300: No. 50

Updated ESPN 300: SEC analysis 

January, 14, 2014
Jan 14
10:30
AM ET

The high school football season and postseason All-Star games have come to a close. With the official ending of the Class of 2014’s high school careers, it’s time for the final ESPN 300.

Here’s a look at the biggest movers from prospects committed to or considering SEC programs.

[+] EnlargeBo Scarbrough
Miller Safrit/ESPNAlabama commit Bo Scarbrough climbed nine spots and, more importantly, became a five-star prospect in the final ESPN 300.
ATH Bo Scarbrough (Tuscaloosa, Ala./IMG Academy)
School: Alabama

Scarbrough may have only moved up nine spots from No. 21 to 12, but the jump was actually a huge one considering the 6-foot-2, 215-pound went from being ranked as a four-star prospects to finishing as one of 15 five-star prospects in the class. Scarbrough remains committed to the Crimson Tide despite officially visiting Ole Miss, Notre Dame and UCLA, while Florida State and Florida continue to make a push. Scarbrough makes his official visit to Alabama on Jan. 17. He remains the No. 2 athlete overall behind Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Edna Karr High).

Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs.




It is a bit too early to tell or give specifics on who will drop or rise in their star status. This is still being calculated but here are some names that we feel will climb. As always, when some guys rise, others may drop due to no fault of their own.

It’s just the nature of rankings. As you know we are very cautious about assigning five stars as there aren’t as many out there as some services would lead you to believe. If there were there would be 30-40 true freshman making an impact every year and there aren't.

CB Tony Brown (Beaumont, Texas/Ozen)- Possible top 10 and 5th star
ATH Bo Scarborough (Bradenton, Fla./IMG)- Possible top 10 and 5th star
TE Bryce Dixon (Ventura, Calif./St. Bonaventure)
ATH JuJu Smith (Long Beach, Calif./Poly)
QB-DT Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway)
RB Joe Mixon (Oakley, Calif./Freedom)
RB Royce Freeman (Imperial, Calif.)
QB Sean White (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School of Nova South)

UA Game notebook: First impressions

December, 29, 2013
12/29/13
4:40
PM ET

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -– Team Nitro and Team Highlight took to the fields at Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports on an overcast Sunday morning for Day 1 of practice for Thursday's Under Armour All-America Game (ESPN, 4 p.m. ET). There were several players who impressed, a top linebacker is feeling pressure to stay at home and the nation's No. 1-ranked player isn’t too concerned with his lack of touches on the first day.

ESPN 300 linebacker feeling the pressure


Four-star linebacker Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) was one of the most impressive-looking linebackers during individual drills. The No. 84-ranked player in the country continues to have four schools at the top of his list.

[+] EnlargeRashaan Evans
Miller Safrit/ESPNRashaan Evans is feeling the pressure from hometown fans off the field.
"I still have four schools -- Auburn, Georgia, Alabama and UCLA -- on top,” Evans said. “Those four schools, they are pretty even. I’m going to take this whole thing slow and pretty much I’m going to take it out to signing day.”

Evans already took an official visit to UCLA in September and is planning to take two other visits in January.

"I’ll take either Bama or Auburn on Jan. 17,” he said, "and then on the 24th maybe Georgia."

As a native of Auburn, Ala., Evans admits he feels constant pressure to stay at home.

"It’s pretty bad,” Evans said. "Most of the time my day consists of Auburn people telling me, ‘Hey, don’t go to Bama, go to Auburn.’ It’s pretty bad, because most of the people I’m around are Auburn alumni. So I hear about Auburn each and every day. So when I go on visits, everybody knows about it and they always shoot me messages about Auburn.

"I feel like I would disappoint people if I did go somewhere other than Auburn. I’m in Auburn, I love Auburn, I’ve lived in Auburn all my life. I have family at Auburn. Most of my family has graduated from Auburn. People would be curious as to why I would want to leave Auburn, but at the end of the day, I have to do what’s best for me."

Coaches impressed

Team Highlight quarterbacks coach Chris Weinke was impressed with his group of QBs during the first practice. LSU commit Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway), Penn State commit Michael O’Connor (Bradenton, Fla./IMG) and Auburn commit Sean White (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./University School) all made nice throws during the course of the practice.

"I think the one thing is that is they have to understand, schematically, what they are doing right now,” Weinke said. "The first day always creates hesitation. I spent more time with Harris, White and O’Connor, but looking at all six guys, they all did a nice job on the first day.

"Brandon Harris spins the ball really well. The one thing with him is now he has to tie his feet in to what he’s doing. O’Connor did a nice job of being very accurate throwing the ball today. Sean White did a heck of a job making some throws in some tight spots.”



Defensively, Team Highlight linebackers coach LaVar Arrington already has a good feeling about his players, which he thinks are a special group.

“I know they’re good when I remember their names, and I remember all my guy’s names,” he said. “They have nicknames. They were balling so hard I nicknamed them. You have Jacob Pugh, so I call him J.P., Kain Daub is K.D. and Tre’ [Williams] is a nickname in itself.

“Then Rashaan [Evans], I grew up being called Shad, so he’s Shad.”

Fournette not worried about carries


Running back Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/Saint Augustine), the nation’s top prospect, handled the football only a few times during nearly three hours of practice.

[+] EnlargeLeonard Fournette
Miller Safrit/ESPNLeonard Fournette likely will have a much busier day Monday than he did on Sunday.
On one of the opportunities designed for him to get the ball, White kept the ball on an option play when Fournette clearly had an open lane. It resulted in one of the funnier moments of the day: One of the Team Highlight assistants pointed over to Fournette and asked White, "You see him? That's the No. 1 running back in the country. You are to get the ball to him and he's supposed to run around and over people. You can't do that."

For his part, Fournette said he’s not concerned. It's not the focus of his trip to Florida.

“It’s about the decisions we have to make,” said Fournette, one of seven players who will announce their commitments during Thursday's game. “We have to focus on the decisions at the end of the day.”

Fournette slimmed his options early in the season to LSU and Alabama. Recently, he added Texas to the list of finalists at the urging of Saint Augustine teammate Jermaine Roberts, a receiver committed to the Longhorns.

Texas is considered a significant darkhorse for Fournette, who did not take an official visit to the school but made it to Austin, Texas, for an unofficial trip last summer.

Still, Fournette said, he’s not penalizing UT for its lack of a head coach as Mack Brown steps aside after the Valero Alamo Bowl on Monday against Oregon.

“Doesn’t concern me at all,” Fournette said.

He also won’t be swayed by the advice of fellow prospects here.

“Everybody’s going to go on their own path, do their own thing,” Fournette said.

Fournette said he would settle on a school after speaking with his parents, who arrive in Orlando on Tuesday.

Top social media posts


There were some great one-on-one battles Sunday. Here are some highlights:

Miami-bound offensive lineman Trevor Darling (Miami/Central), who usually plays left tackle, lined up at left guard during the one-on-one portion and more than held his own. Here’s a look at Darling winning a matchup against Georgia-bound defensive tackle Lamont Gaillard (Fayetteville, N.C./Pine Forest).



Five-star defensive end Lorenzo Carter (Norcross, Ga./Norcross) also impressed on the first day of practices. Here’s Carter getting the better of Michigan commit Juwann Bushell-Beatty (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic).



Uncommitted Laurence Jones (Monroe, La./Neville), the No. 2-ranked safety in the country, had a tremendous pass breakup on the goal line during the team portion of practice.

Speedy Noil, the No. 8-ranked prospect in the country, put on a show the first day of practice. He hauled in pass after pass and did it all while wearing a gold watch on his wrist. The five-star receiver even had an impressive one-handed catch.



Michigan-bound defensive back Jabrill Peppers (Paramus, N.J./Paramus Catholic), the nation's No. 2-ranked prospect, took on Florida-bound receiver Ermon Lane (Homestead, Fla./Homestead Senior), the nation's No. 28-ranked recruit, in one-on-ones. Lane got the better of Peppers the first two reps, but the two will have plenty of time to battle it out leading up to the game.

Qualifiers for the American Family Insurance Skills Challenge


After practice concluded Sunday, several players competed for spots in the finals of the American Family Insurance Skills challenge. The finals will air on Jan. 1 (ESPN2, 9 p.m. ET). Here’s a look at who has qualified for the finals so far:

Running backs/linebackers
RB Racean Thomas (Oxford, Ala./Oxford) -- Auburn commit
LB Rashaan Evans (Auburn, Ala./Auburn) -- uncommitted
LB Melvin Keihn (Baltimore, Md./Gilman School) -- Virginia Tech commit

Wide receiver/defensive backs
TE Jacory Washington (Westlake, La./Westlake) -- LSU commit
CB Adoree' Jackson (Gardena, Calif./Junipero Serra) -- uncommitted
CB Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover) -- uncommitted

Jeremy Crabtree, Mitch Sherman and Tom VanHaaren contributed to this report.
There is not a single position more important in any sport than quarterback. With LSU and Alabama set for their annual showdown on Saturday, and both starting signal callers being seniors, it's time to take a look ahead at what the position holds following the graduation of Zach Mettenberger and AJ McCarron.

When looking at the future of quarterback recruiting for both SEC powers, one has to start with a look back at the 2013 signing class, as signal callers from that class likely will figure prominently in the future race for both teams.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

UA game jersey tour: Brandon Harris

October, 18, 2013
10/18/13
9:25
AM ET
Senior quarterback Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway High) was presented his honorary game jersey Thursday at his school during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2014 Under Armour All-America High School Football Game.

Harris, an LSU commitment, is one of 90 players selected to compete in the seventh annual Under Armour All-America Game, a nationally televised competition game featuring the country’s top high school seniors. The 2014 game will be played at 4 p.m. ET Jan. 2 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla., and will be televised on ESPN.

“I would like to thank my family, everybody that came out, my teammates of course, my coaches ... every one of these guys," Harris said. "It’s a great opportunity, a big step and it shows the way our athletics have turned around at Parkway High School.”

Parkay High head coach David Feaster said his star player will turn heads at the game on and off the field.

“We, of course, do share in the pride of Brandon. We think we all are a part of it, and as he goes forward and all that ... we know he is going to be representing us. I can practically guarantee you that you and everybody that is going to be down there with him for a week will come up to me at the end of the week and say, 'Man, did I enjoy being around Brandon Harris for this week.' In addition to being a great athlete, he’s a great person and we know that he is going to be a great representative for Parkway High School.”

Harris is looking to test himself against the best players in the nation.

"I decided to come to the Under Armour All-America Game because it's a great event. The tradition of the last seven years that Under Armour has been doing this has been a fantastic game. The opportunity to play in front of a national crowd is huge. Every pass, every play is going to be contested ... guys are going to give 150 percent. That’s what I’m excited about,” Harris said.

The 6-foot-2, 186-pound Harris is the No. 49 prospect overall and the No. 3 dual-threat quarterback in the class. He committed to LSU over Texas A&M, Baylor, Auburn, Arkansas, Ohio State, Ole Miss, Tennessee and others.

Best SEC recruiters 

October, 15, 2013
10/15/13
8:00
PM ET
video
Editor's note: For a look at the national recruiter power rankings based only on Class of 2014 success, click here.

It's no secret that Southeastern Conference has been the top conference in the country as far as recruiting over the last several years. The league currently has six teams ranked in the top 11 of the team recruiting rankings. Here's a look at the top 10 recruiters around the ultra-competitive conference.

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SEC class rankings analysis 

October, 9, 2013
10/09/13
2:00
PM ET


Each Wednesday, ESPN RecruitingNation updates its national class rankings. For an in-depth look at the SEC, check out our conference rankings:

1. Alabama, 21 commits: The Crimson Tide sit atop the RecruitingNation class rankings with a class that features 15 ESPN 300 prospects, including most recent commitment Ronnie Clark (Calera, Ala./Calera), the No. 96 overall prospect. Alabama remains in the hunt for several five-star prospects, including No. 1 overall Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/Saint Augustine) and No. 9 Marlon Humphrey (Hoover, Ala./Hoover).


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs.



Things are going well at this point. Much like Mark Stoops at Kentucky and Butch Jones at Tennessee, Malzahn and Co. are making big strides in their first full calendar year of unveiling their blueprint. This is the key for Auburn in my opinion, they must, absolutely must make good decisions on people, not just talent. This is what doomed those highly rated classes, particularly the 2010 class. Guys like Michael Dyer, Antonio Goodwin and Shaun Kitchens were highly recruited by everyone and they are no longer at Auburn not because of a lack of talent, but due to off-the-field issues. This has not only affected talent, but depleted the team's depth.

Malzahn is fully aware of this and his staff is placing a huge emphasis on good players and good kids. The crown jewel of this class is obviously RB Racean Thomas -- a huge need at a spot that has both a dearth of talent and depth right now. Conversely, the decommitment of center Josh Casher was a blow because the offensive line is a huge need, too. ATH Stanton Truitt is the utility weapon much like Onterio McCalebb, but Tuitt is more of a true receiving threat. Perhaps the best, most undervalued prospect in Auburn’s class is TE-H Jakell Mitchell. We feel he could be special because of his skill set and what the offense will ask of him. Juco WR D’haquille Williams is a difference-maker and an immediate impact player. Sean White is a nice acquisition at QB, but more for depth at this point, as Auburn's primary targets QB-DT Brandon Harris and QB-DT Deshaun Watson committed elsewhere. Showing marked improvement this fall will only enhance the Tigers' recruiting efforts down the stretch to help them close come signing day.

The Early Offer is RecruitingNation's latest feature, giving you a daily dose of recruiting in the mornings. Today's offerings: reasons for LSU fans to be patient, Ohio State's start, and Sonny Dykes reloading.


Patience is a virtue for LSU

To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Quinn shows LSU still rules in Louisiana 

August, 18, 2013
8/18/13
10:15
AM ET


BATON ROUGE, La. -- A recruiting class that LSU fans are hoping will be historically significant has been coming together too slowly for many in Louisiana.

Before wide receiver Trey Quinn (Lake Charles, La./Barbe) became the highest-ranked member of the 2014 ESPN 300 to commit to LSU on Saturday (Quinn is No. 37 overall and No. 3 among wide receivers), there was much consternation around the state about whether the Tigers would adequately secure what's arguably the most bountiful football prospect harvest the state has ever produced.

Forget finishing with a No. 1 class -- LSU entered this weekend outside the top 10 with a mere 13 commitments.

Trey Quinn
Gary Laney/ESPNWR Trey Quinn is one of six in-state ESPN 300 prospects to commit to LSU in the 2014 class.
If anything, the Quinn commitment should relax those concerns, at least a little.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

#AskLoogs: Crafting the perfect QB

August, 8, 2013
8/08/13
12:30
PM ET
Want to ask ESPN RecruitingNation senior analyst Tom Luginbill a question about your team? Tweet it to @TomLuginbill using the hashtag #AskLoogs.



Sure, we’ll give this a try with QB’s in the current 2014 class with the categories below…

Arm strength: Georgia commit Jacob Park (Stratford/Goose Creek, S.C.). This was close, could have put Alabama commit David Cornwell (Norman North/Norman, Okla.) here as well. The ball jumps out of Park's arm with velocity, power and RPMs to drive the ball vertically and into tight spots.

Accuracy: Stanford commit Keller Chryst (Palo Alto/Palo Alto, Calif.). Chryst shows terrific ball placement and timing with the ability to change ball speeds and drop the ball in over coverage to small windows. His ability to anticipate allows him to throw to a spot before the receiver breaks.

Delivery: Purdue commit David Blough. Is is an uncoachable trait, in my opinion, and one that is highly coveted. Blough pops the ball out of his hand with a lightning quick stroke. It is tight, compact and smooth.

Running ability: Florida commit Will Grier. He is a true dual-threat only when needed. If asked to be an integral part of the running game, Grier can really hurt you with his legs and is not a guy you want to let out of the pocket.

Mental toughness: Chryst. This is where his aptitude and upbringing (his uncle is Pitt coach Paul Chryst) come into play. Chryst is mature and capable of handling the ups and downs of the position having grown up around the game in ways few prospects have.

Competitiveness: LSU commit Brandon Harris. This was close; Texas A&M pledge Kyle Allen also fits the bill. Harris wants to be great and is willing to do what it takes to make it happen. He had received limited exposure and offers in the spring, but proved himself on the camp and combine circuit.

Poise: Clemson commit Deshaun Watson. Calm, cool and collected. Watson has a quiet swagger and calming pocket presence that exudes confidence and control. He weathers the peaks and valleys of the game with an even keel.

Instincts: Oklahoma commit Justice Hansen. Hansen and Grier could swap categories here. Hansen is just one of those guys that knows when to pull the trigger and is at his best when improvising and on the move. He has a sixth sense about where pressure is coming from, can evade defenders and keep plays alive instinctively.

At LSU camp, elite get defined 

July, 24, 2013
7/24/13
9:00
AM ET
BATON ROUGE, La. -- ESPN 300 quarterback Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway) told anyone who would listen that he would not attend last week's LSU July Elite camp.

But at the beginning of the week, there he was, exchanging chest bumps with ESPN 300 wide receiver Trey Quinn (Lake Charles, La./Barbe) after the pair hooked up for a touchdown pass, then firing strikes to ESPN 300 athlete -- and LSU receiver target -- Speedy Noil (New Orleans/Karr).

[+] EnlargeBrandon Harris
Gary Laney/ESPN.comQuarterback Brandon Harris committed to LSU shortly after the team's July camp.
Three days later, Harris committed to LSU in an expected move after other schools on his list (Ohio State, Auburn) took commitments from other quarterbacks. Even if Harris' mind wasn't made up when he camped on that Monday morning, the assembled talent may have made it for him.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Summer recruit wrap: LSU 

July, 23, 2013
7/23/13
10:00
AM ET
BATON ROUGE, La. -- With the spring/summer camp season winding down and August camp almost ready to start, here are 10 things we learned about LSU recruiting this summer.

Taking it slow

There was much optimism that with Louisiana enjoying arguably its strongest, deepest recruiting class since recruiting services started evaluating classes, LSU might not only finish with the nation's best class, the Tigers might run away and hide with it. That hasn't been the case as Louisiana's top seven players, included top target Leonard Fournette (New Orleans/St. Augustine). Remain uncommitted. The good news? LSU has nine ESPN 300 commitments already.

Harris becomes recruiter


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

Summer recruit wrap: Ohio State 

July, 23, 2013
7/23/13
9:48
AM ET
BuckeyeNation looks at 10 themes of Ohio State’s 2014 recruiting class to date:

Arms race is over

Ohio State missed out on ESPN 300 quarterbacks Kyle Allen (Scottsdale, Ariz./Desert Mountain) and Brandon Harris (Bossier City, La./Parkway) and came up empty on standout DeShaun Watson as well. That didn’t matter to Urban Meyer, who got his man in Stephen Collier (Leesburg, Ga./Leesburg). The Georgia high school standout had a private game of pitch and catch with the Buckeyes coach and it was enough to earn an offer and commitment. Consider the hunt for a quarterback finished.


To continue reading this article you must be an Insider

SPONSORED HEADLINES