NCF On The Trail: Desmond Harrison

When Texas brought in Stacy Searels after the 2010 season to overhaul its offensive line, it did so with an ideal in mind.

Searels had been coaching SEC offensive lines -- first at LSU, then Georgia -- since 2003. The assumption, fair or not, was that he’d whip the Longhorns line into shape and up to the standards of college football’s most dominant conference.

[+] EnlargeStacy Searles
John Rivera/Icon SMIOne-third of Texas' class consists of offensive linemen recruited by coach Stacy Searels.
Principles are important. Personnel matters more.

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Weekly commitment update 

January, 25, 2013
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ACC
Clemson
Kyrin Priester WR Snellville, Ga./Brookwood
HT: 6-1 WT: 181
Position Rank: #20 WR

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Signing day primer: Texas

January, 23, 2013
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Team needs: Texas hit the recruiting trail this year seeking improved depth on the offensive line and at linebacker. Its line got almost no production from backups in 2012, and an inexperienced linebacker group started six players last season and endured struggles throughout. With only nine seniors in 2012, the Longhorns don’t have many other holes that need to be filled by this class of recruits. The most irreplaceable cogs are safety Kenny Vaccaro and defensive end Alex Okafor. Both are potential first-round NFL draft picks whose production will be tough to match.

Help is on the way: The offensive line questions have been answered. Texas is set to sign one of the nation’s best classes up front with five commits, including No. 1 center Darius James (Killeen, Texas/Harker Heights) and No. 4 tackle Kent Perkins (Dallas/Lake Highlands). Contra Costa (Calif.) College tackle Desmond Harrison joined the class this week. Texas also landed ESPN 300 outside linebacker Deoundrei Davis (Cypress, Texas/Cypress Woods), who enrolled early and should contribute as a freshman.

Other key commits: Two more early enrollees, ESPN 150 lineman Jake Raulerson (Celina, Texas/Celina) and Butte (Calif.) College tight end Geoff Swaim, should play right away. Texas also has pledges from ESPN 150 defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson (Fort Worth, Texas/Arlington Heights), receiver Jacorey Warrick (Houston/Cypress Falls) and cornerback Antwuan Davis (Bastrop, Texas/Bastrop). The Longhorns will pair Warrick with Jake Oliver (Dallas/Jesuit), who broke the Texas state record for career receptions.

Other key targets: Holding on to Robinson is crucial. He has taken official visits to USC and Alabama and could make a late-second flip on signing day. With a pledge from Harrison, the biggest remaining priorities are finding another running back and wide receiver. ESPN 150 receiver Sebastian LaRue (Santa Monica, Calif./Santa Monica) and Ole Miss running back commit Peyton Barber (Alpharetta, Ga./Milton) could visit in January.

Texas adds juco OT Desmond Harrison

January, 21, 2013
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Texas kicked off on Monday what could be a fruitful final few weeks of 2013 recruiting by picking up its first verbal commit since October.

The Longhorns have landed pledge No. 14 from Contra Costa (Calif.) College offensive lineman Desmond Harrison.

The three-star prospect chose Texas over Arizona State, USC, Oklahoma and offers from more than 20 schools.

“This feels real good,” Harrison said. “I feel like I just made the best decision. It was a tight decision. It really boiled down to Arizona State and Texas, and they really made it difficult. It just felt like Texas was the best for me.”

Harrison had been leaning toward choosing Texas for a while, but the final decision was tougher than he’d expected.

“It was a last-minute decision,” he said. “Everything came down to the end. I was still thinking about it today."

A 6-foot-8, 310-pound lineman who is being recruited to play left tackle, Harrison took an official visit to Texas on Dec. 7 and is the program’s second junior college pledge, joining Butte (Calif.) College tight end signee Geoff Swaim.

(Read full post)

Texas visit an eye-opener for OL Hammad 

January, 21, 2013
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Back when Texas first reached out to Rami Hammad, his high school coach offered some simple advice: If they offer, you better take a visit.

By Sunday, the Irving, Texas, offensive lineman certainly understood why Aaron De La Torre said that. The visit left such a strong impression that the three-star recruit decided it was time to decommit from Baylor.


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Juco OT Harrison sets decision date 

January, 18, 2013
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Desmond Harrison has taken all his visits and met with all his recruiters countless times. He’s ready to make a decision.

The three-star Contra Costa (Calif.) College offensive tackle is planning to announce his commitment Monday.

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Longtime commit Kenny Bigelow (Elkton, Md./Eastern Christian Academy) got a preview of his fast-approaching move to Los Angeles over the weekend and the No. 2-rated defensive tackle described his official visit to USC as the "best experience ever."

That's hardly a surprise, given that Bigelow has been one of the more vocal and loyal Trojans supporters since he became the first member of the current recruiting class last November.

"Seeing the McKay Center for the first time since it finished was probably my favorite part of the visit," Bigelow said. "I have never seen anything like that before. Hanging with the coaches and talking with the players was great. Coach O and I talked a lot. I sat in during some position meetings and we met one-on-one in his office. He laid out plans for me and told me what he wants me to do. He needs me to come in and make a difference right away."

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Weekend rewind: USC 

December, 17, 2012
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LOS ANGELES -- The first member of USC’s current class officially visited campus this weekend and could not have been happier.

“Best experience ever,” defensive tackle commit Kenny Bigelow said. “My host Leonard Williams was great.”

Bigelow, the No. 2-rated defensive tackle who committed to the Trojans last November, is scheduled to enroll shortly after the Jan. 5 U.S. Army All-American Game.

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Junior college offensive tackle Desmond Harrison (San Pablo, Calif./Contra Costa College) has been around the recruiting trail enough to know when something feels genuine and when it’s a coach just telling him what he wants to hear.

Following his official visit to Oklahoma over the weekend, he said it’s the former when it comes to OU’s interest and his interest in the Sooners.


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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.

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