All the way back on the night of September 27, 2011, the Drew Harris saga began for the Hokies, as the Downingtown East High School running back committed to Virginia Tech. Harris, then ranked the No. 20 running back and a four-star by Rivals, became the source of intrigue for Virginia Tech faithful and bloggers alike. Our original write-up on his commitment can be found here (though the video has seemed to disappear).
Here is the general theme of what I saw in Harris:
"He is 6'2" 195-200 lbs. and runs a legit 4.47 40. He is the shiftiest guy I've ever seen at his size back there."
So Harris' power-to-speed ratio is impressive, as is his size as a running back at 6'1"/6'2" and around 215 pounds now. I felt that of the three backs the Hokies brought in with the 2012 class (though Harris still has yet to enroll and Jerome Wright was greyshirted) and Trey Edmunds, who was widely believed to be a college linebacker, Harris stood the best chance of helping the Hokies immediately, a hypothesis which never was able to be tested. I also thought that based on the tape of those four players, Harris would be the best every down running back. It is important to note as well that the Hokies have done best when they have multiple back systems, like they did from 2009-11 with Ryan Williams, Darren Evans and David Wilson. They also felt the after effects of not being able to have a suitable replacement lined up when they lost all three to the NFL within a calendar year. That's why getting Harris into the program is integral, as he is now a year behind Coleman and Holmes.
But after signing with the Hokies in 2012, it was discovered that Harris would have an issue qualifying per the NCAA Clearinghouse and would have to attend a year of post-grad, which he did at Fork Union Military Academy. Since that time, Harris has remained committed to the Hokies, even re-signing for the class of 2013. But yesterday there was an alarming break in the Harris story on Twitter by Norm Wood (at least among the Hokie beat writer contingent):
RB Drew Harris,who was going to be part of #Hokies 2013 recruiting class but had NCAA Clearinghouse problems, has received offer from FSU— Norm Wood (@normwood) May 5, 2013
So? No big deal right? I mean, the guy has stayed committed to the Hokies throughout, and his high school teammate and close friend Jack Willenbrock is a scholarship member of the football team. And it's not like he's the first player to ever be offered while committed, nor the first one to be offered as kind of a shot in the dark (the whole, "if Florida State didn't get him, fine, but by offering him, they had nothing to lose" strategy). After all, Harris was re-ranked as the No. 9 prep player and the No. 1 prep running back in the country for 2013. But then Wood followed with this tweet.
And he wasn't embellishing things. In fact, It would even seem to be an undersell based on this tweet and subsequent tweets:
Received a Florida State offer today from Coach Senseri God is good twitter.com/Hollacide/stat…— Drew Harris™ (@Hollacide) May 5, 2013
Harris hasn't said anything publicly regarding his commitment to Tech since that time.
UPDATE: AFTER SPEAKING WITH DREW HE TOLD ME THAT HE IS STILL SOLID TO VIRGINIA TECH AND HAS NOT SAID OTHERWISE.
Just got off the phone with Drew Harris. Says he's solid to Virginia Tech and hasn't said otherwise.— GobblerCountry.com (@gobblercountry) May 7, 2013
He also told me that he didn't know the exact date that he would hear back from the NCAA Clearinghouse.— GobblerCountry.com (@gobblercountry) May 7, 2013
So when will we know or have some kind of resolution? Well, according to this Mark Giannotto tweet from back in February:
Dont expect the Drew Harris issue to be resolved until June, at the earliest. 4 star RB, originally a 2012 commit, won't sign NLI today.— Mark Giannotto (@HokiesJournal) February 6, 2013
Assuming nothing has changed since that time, we should know something about Harris in the next month or two. If he should decide to flip and commit to Florida State though, it will be heartbreaking for many Hokie fans who have seen tweets like these over the past months:
Drew Harris' dad says his son's intention is and always has been to sign with Virginia Tech. "That's what we've talked about." #Hokies— Andy Bitter (@AndyBitterVT) February 7, 2013
Due to an error in paperwork sent to admissions at Va Tech I have to enroll in June I can choose to open up recruitment or stay committed— Drew Harris™ (@Hollacide) January 15, 2013
We here at Gobbler Country wish Drew the best in qualifying to enroll at whichever school he chooses, but of course we would be remiss if we didn't mention that we're very strongly hoping that school is Virginia Tech, because Drew is one of the gems of the Hokies 2012 and 2013 classes.
UPDATE: HARRIS' WORDS IN THIS ARTICLE BY NORM WOOD OF THE DAILY PRESS SEEMS TO SUGGEST THAT IT MIGHT NOT BE JUST A CLEARINGHOUSE ISSUE THAT IS KEEPING HARRIS FROM ENROLLING AT TECH. PAY CLOSE ATTENTION TO HIS QUOTES ABOUT THE COACHING STAFF AND THEM POTENTIALLY WANTING ANOTHER RECRUIT.
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