|Grand Rapids (MI) Christian wide receiver Drake Harris|
Grand Rapids (MI) Christian wide receiver Drake Harris committed to Michigan on Sunday. He chose the Wolverines over offers from Alabama, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Michigan State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Oregon, Penn State, Tennessee, and Wisconsin, among others.
Harris stands 6’4″, 180 lbs. and claims a 4.39 forty. As a junior in 2012, he had 91 receptions for 2,015 yards and 25 touchdowns. As a sophomore in 2011, he caught 57 passes for 1,118 yards and 14 touchdowns.
Rivals: 4-star, #4 WR, # 56 overall
Scout: 4-star, #3 WR
247 Sports: 4-star, 97 grade, #3 WR, #36 overall
Harris camped at Michigan last June but committed to Michigan State a week later, largely because he planned to play basketball; MSU coach Tom Izzo has quite a reputation for coaching that sport and getting his players to the NBA. It made some sense if Harris wanted to pursue a professional basketball career. But as time went on, Harris started to realize that 6’4″ shooting guards are a dime a dozen across the nation, whereas 6’4″ wideouts are a little rarer of a commodity. Then he started visiting Michigan weekend after weekend for basketball games, decommitted in mid-March, and visited Michigan again for the spring game on Saturday.
Harris is a tall, lanky receiver. As a basketball player, he can catch the ball away from his body, and he understands how to use his body to shield the defender from the ball. He shows very good acceleration and has the ability to get on top of cornerbacks very quickly; he runs crisp routes and adjusts well to the ball in the air. Once he gets in the open field, he’s difficult to bring down because of his speed and his ability to stutter step, change direction, and accelerate. Michigan should be able to use him as deep threat, but he also has the ability to take short passes and turn them into big plays. He shows a willingness and ability to block, too, so he’s a good all-around receiver.
I think Harris needs to improve his consistency catching the ball with his hands – he can do it, but he doesn’t do it enough. He also needs to put on some weight to make him a more effective runner with the ball in his hands; that would help him with his blocking, too.
Overall, Harris is a very high level prospect and seems to be pretty accurately ranked among the top few receivers in the country. There would also seem to be some room for improvement since he has been concentrating on basketball up to this point, too. Michigan probably has plans of getting him up into the 210-215 lb. range and making him a durable, NFL-caliber wideout. His size, stride, and skill set make him look a little bit like former Michigan wideout Braylon Edwards, although that would be a tough level to reach for just about anyone; Edwards was dominant as an upperclassman at Michigan and turned into one of the top few picks in the NFL Draft.
Harris plans to enroll early in January 2014. Michigan will likely take a few wide receivers in the 2014 class, but Harris will probably be the headliner when all is said and done. He might even end up being Michigan’s best player in the class, although the coaches are still pursuing the elite of the elite like Da’Shawn Hand and Jabrill Peppers. The coaches are also going after Harris’s teammate Tommy Doles, a center prospect who is also seriously considering Northwestern; supposedly, Harris and Doles are friendly but not extremely close, so one may not affect the other.
TTB Rating: 93 (ratings explanation)