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Michigan State seldom offers recruits as quickly as it did Xenia (Ohio) wide receiver Meechi Harris.
He’d never met the coaches in person before Sunday. In fact, the 6-foot-2 junior had never taken any college visits outside his home state. Ohio State, Cincinnati and Toledo were his only previous visits, the latter two of which have offered.
Late last week, Michigan State wide receivers coach Terrence Samuel got in touch about potential visit dates, and on short notice they set up a plan for a weekend visit. Harris arrived Sunday to see spring practice and the Spartans’ Senior Day for basketball,
“I absolutely liked it,” he said, “the atmosphere around there and everything, how the fans are really nice there. It’s all about sports to them, and I really like that. Everybody knows everybody.”
Harris spoke with every coach, trainer and faculty member with whom he came in contact, and he left impressed by how well he was treated. The people, as much as anything, will play a huge part in his final decision.
As it turns out, Harris’ personality played a large part in picking up an offer so soon. Already a fan of his talent, the staff saw a bright, well-spoken young man in talking to him and relayed that information to Spartans coach Mark Dantonio, who pulled him aside and shared the news.
Truly blessed to have received my 14th offer & 6th Big Ten offer to Michigan State University !!! B.B.B. ?? pic.twitter.com/ZRLxqt2OxX
— Meech1 (@king_dj_sosa14) February 26, 2017
“It was just out of nowhere,” Harris said of the offer. “I’d only heard of coach Dantonio — I know who he is. I know he’s a big man and everything (in terms of his reputation), so it was actually pretty shocking when I got to talk to him one-on-one, face-to-face and everything. That’s not something I have done a lot.”
Dantonio said he liked that Harris included special teams in his highlight film and that he could make an impact on kick and punt returns. And while Harris stands out at wide receiver, defense looks like a possibility.
After getting the offer, Harris headed over to the Breslin Center for the basketball game, where he was further convinced about the quality of people in East Lansing.
He sat down next to a woman who immediately asked whether he was getting recruited for football. When he said yes, she asked whether he had been offered.
“I was like, ‘Yes, ma’am, they did today,'” Harris said. “And she got really excited like, ‘Oh, that’s so good for you.’ I really liked that.”
She wasn’t the only one excited. Harris’ father hails from Detroit and still has a lot of family in the state. The possibility of his son playing college football in Michigan went over very well.
“When they found out about it, they went crazy,” Harris said. “They absolutely loved it. So when (Michigan State) can put a smile on my family’s face, they’ll put a smile on my face.”
Harris wants to visit several more schools, namely Pittsburgh and Rutgers. He doesn’t plan to come to a decision anytime soon as his recruitment is just heating up. During football season seems like the earliest possibility.
As he goes on more trips, schools will have their work cut out to match the experience he had at Michigan State. No matter the question, his answer kept coming back to the same theme: the people.
“The biggest thing that really caught my attention is how nice everyone was,” Harris said. “I know they’re supposed to be, but I’ve been on visits where not everyone has talked to me. Everyone there talked to me: every coach, every trainer, the workers and all. I really liked how everyone interacted with me.”
Hoops signee receives big honor
Five-star Michigan State forward signee Jaren Jackson Jr. already received one of the biggest honors in prep basketball when he was named a McDonald’s All-American.
Add another to the list, as on Tuesday he was named to the 2017 USA Junior National Select Team that will play in the 20th annual Nike Hoop Summit. Only 12 players made the team.
The Summit will take place on April 7 at the Moda Center in Portland, Ore. Michigan State assistant coach Dane Fife shared his reaction to the announcement on Twitter.
@therealjnari_ named to the Nike Hoops Summit team! One of the highest sports honors a high schooler can receive. The other?…An MSU offer.
— Dane Fife (@CoachDaneFife) February 28, 2017
Fife and the Spartans would surely like to land Jackson’s La Lumiere (La Porte, Ind.) teammate Brian Bowen as well. The 5-star wing has been toiling over a decision for months after initially hoping to make a decision in December.
As first reported by Land of 10, Bowen visited Arizona on Saturday. Having already taken his five allotted official visits, he made the trip on his own dime, a concerning sign for Michigan State at the time.
However, he did not announce a decision on the visit, leaving Michigan State with a remaining chance. Of Bowen’s finalists, the Spartans have a clear geographical advantage to pay him a late visit and try to sway him.