September 29, 2009

Tide pursuing 2011 WR

Northern Guilford High School in Greensboro, North Carolina is home to one of the most impressive collections of college prospects in the South, with 2010 stars Keenan Allen, Chris McCain and James Scales all likely headed to major college programs. Now several juniors at Northern Guilford are emerging as major stars in their own right, including multipurpose athlete Maurice Harris who holds an early offer from the Alabama Crimson Tide among several other major programs.

"The season is going really good, about like we expected really," said the 6-foot-3, 197-pound Harris. "We're 4-1 right now and I'm getting to play a lot of different roles on the team, which is fun for me. I play defensive back, wide receiver, tight end and sometimes they bring me in at quarterback. From the college coaches that I've talked to, they seem to like that I can move around and do different things but I think everybody is mostly interested in me as a receiver. That's what I'm most comfortable with and what I've played the most. I did play quarterback in middle school so I've always got those skills in my back pocket if I need them."

Harris is the cousin of teammate and four-star prospect Keenan Allen and while playing with Allen at the next level is an appealing idea, it's not something Harris believes will dictate his ultimate college choice.

"Keenan and I have played football together our whole lives, since we were little kids at the park. We're really close and obviously it would be fun to play together but at the same time we've talked about it and we both know we've each got to do what's best for us as individuals. We have some of the same offers so it might happen or it might not but Keenan knows that I'm going to pick the school that's the best fit for me."

Both Harris and Allen spent some time in Tuscaloosa over the summer at the Tide's summer camp and came away impressed with what Alabama had to offer.

"We both camped at Alabama over the summer and the coaches made a real strong connection with Keenan and with me. They are extremely smart guys and they do a great job of motivating their players. Alabama definitely made a good impression on me."

"I got a chance to watch them some on TV this year and I really like the way they spread the ball around. They have really dominant guys like Julio [Jones] and Marquise Maze but they throw it around to lots of different guys so if you can get a spot on the field, you're probably going to get the ball thrown your way."

Alabama's use of a more versatile and balanced offense in 2009 may help them with Harris, who is used to a more pass-oriented offense at the high school level.

"We run a spread at my high school, usually with five receivers on the field most plays. I like playing in a spread offense but I am willing to play in any offense that gives me a chance to make some catches and show my skills."

With offers from Cal, Clemson, Duke, Maryland, North Carolina and NC State already in for Harris, the junior said he expects to hear from more schools in the near future and plans on taking his time with the recruiting process before narrowing his options.

"My plan all along has been to wait it out and give everyone a chance to offer me and then make my decision sometime after my senior season is over. I want to make sure I see what all my options are before I decide anything because once I make my commitment, I'm not going back on it."

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