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Alabama LB raves about FIU

12/11/2011

Three-star linebacker Harding Harper (Montgomery, Ala./Carver) made his official visit to Florida International. He came home blown away by his visit to South Florida.

“It was amazing,” Harper said. “It was great. I love the great coaching staff, that’s the main thing. It’s a great city and a beautiful place to be. There is so much to do. The players are awesome and I felt like I had known those guys for years. FIU set the bar real high for me for visits. They showed me some things and opened my eyes. Coach [Mario] Cristobal has really done a great job. They have a great defense and are going to a bowl game. He has turned the program around.”

Harper obviously had a great official visit to FIU. Was it enough for the Golden Panthers to catch his two leaders, Vanderbilt and Arkansas?

“Those are still my top schools,” Harper said. “FIU is right there. I like Illinois and Arkansas State a lot, but I have to see if they still want me. I know the Arkansas State coaches went to Ole Miss and I am curious to see if I will get an Ole Miss offer. In fact, I think I should probably call Coach [Hugh] Freeze this week and see.

“There are some schools that I need to see what happens, like Ole Miss, and I want to see how things shake out.”

Last week Harper had an in-home visit with Vandy. He plans to visit Arkansas (1-13) and Vandy (1-20) in January.

Harper finished his senior season with 120 tackles, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, and seven sacks. He's ranked No. 96 among linebackers nationally and No. 42 among recruits from Alabama.