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Will Michael Harris become the next Ohio State commitment?
About two weeks ago, we introduced you to a linebacker from Georgia who spent the first four years of his life in Ohio and was waiting anxiously for a scholarship offer from the Buckeyes.
Michael Harris, the country’s 15th-ranked inside linebacker via the 247Sports.com composite, received that offer about a week later and has been living on cloud nine ever since.
In a sit-down interview earlier this week with DawgNation’s Jeff Sentell, Harris didn’t bother holding back his excitement. Sentell poised a straightforward, non-football question to the 6-foot-2, 213-pound linebacker from Tucker, Ga.
“If you could replay a day of your life, over and over, what’s the best day of your life so far?”
Harris’ reply? “The Ohio State offer. That’s my favorite college. I’ve been preaching about that school since I was in diapers.”
Normally I caution against getting too excited when a recruit starts talking about dream schools and dream offers, but there’s something different about Harris’ expressions. He seems to mean it.
“Going through my dreams, my experiences, the things I hoped to do when I was younger?” Harris said. “Now going through and actually doing it? That’s kind of crazy to me. I was talking to [director of player personnel Mark] Pantoni, and he was like, ‘coach [Urban] Meyer wants to talk to you.’ He got on the phone and he was just like, ‘Mike, ask me how many times I’ve offered without anybody meeting them first?’ I was like, ‘How many times, coach?’
“He was like ‘none,’ and then he gave me an offer. I started going crazy, to be honest. I didn’t say much on the phone, but that’s what he’s telling me, that I’m the first offer he gave without meeting him first. That’s special to me.”
Now the question is fit. Ohio State will look to sign three to four linebackers in the 2018 class, and Harris hopes to be one of them. To find his way into the “dream” scenario at Ohio State, he may need to make a college decision sooner rather than later as players like Dallas Gant (Toledo, Ohio), Christopher Oats (Cincinnati) and Adrian Jackson (Denver) have the Buckeyes high on their respective lists. That may fit into his plans.
“[Urban Meyer] says I’m their guy,” Harris said. “I hope to fit into their program. I would decide on my birthday [Friday], but I’ll decide after I take the SAT/ACT just so I know I’m straight and can get into any college I want to. I want to be qualified first.”
Getting qualified shouldn’t be a major problem for a player whose GPA sits just under 3.0. To qualify is the next step and then, as Harris said, he’d know he could get into any school that has offered him. That includes programs such as Alabama, Auburn and Georgia. He’s not forgetting the other offers he has on the table, but right now, for Harris? There’s zero doubt as to where his heart is leading him. He wants to follow in the footsteps of his favorite Buckeyes player, Ryan Shazier.
“One hundred percent,” Harris said when asked what the chances of a commitment to Ohio State would be if he secures the necessary test scores. “I’d love to go to Alabama, Georgia, Auburn. Those are nice schools. But growing up? The Ohio State is my school. It’s where I want to go. It’s cold up there, but I’m not worried.”
Harris has not yet visited Ohio State, and that’s something that needs to happen soon. When it does, watch out for a potential commitment.
The country’s top 2019 linebacker will see Buckeyes next week …
Ohio State will see the country’s top-rated 2019 linebacker on campus next weekend in Columbus.
“I’m going up next week,” Grayson (Ga.) 4-star prospect Owen Pappoe told Land of 10. “I’ll be there next Friday and Saturday.”
This will be the second visit to Ohio State for Pappoe, though his first was a quick visit to the school when he was in eighth grade. The only rising sophomore to be selected for Nike’s The Opening combine said he doesn’t recall much of the school from that visit and that he’s hoping to get a good look at the Ohio State program on this visit.
“Not much,” he said, laughing when asked what he remembers from his last visit to Ohio State. “Now I am looking for places that are going to develop me as a player, somewhere that I fit into their scheme.”
To get a better answer to that question as it pertains to Ohio State, the 6-1, 205-pound Pappoe – the second-ranked prospect in the Class of 2019 – will need to get more familiar with Billy Davis, the Buckeyes new linebackers coach.
“We hear from Ohio State every other week,” Pappoe said. “I know they just got a new linebacker coach, and I haven’t really gotten to talk to him. I have great relationships with Urban Meyer and [new quarterbacks] coach [Ryan] Day.”