Tampa Hillsborough linebacker Nigel Harris had a chance to take in the Florida and Tennessee game on Saturday afternoon. Though Gators won the game 33-23, Harris said he wanted to do more than just watch a good game.
“My visit was very good,” Harris said. “I had to use my time wisely. I didn’t just go up there to enjoy the game and have fun. I went up there to talk to the coaches and talk to some of the players to get tips that improve my game on Friday nights.”
One player that stood out to the 2013 prospect was Florida linebacker Jelani Jenkins. Jenkins was constantly around the ball and Harris liked what he saw from the redshirt sophomore linebacker.
“Jelani is a great player at the linebacker position,” Harris said. “He plays fast. He covers the ball well. He just has to finish it off by making those picks. He’s a very good player.”
Though this was more of a business trip for Harris, he couldn’t help but notice the atmosphere inside the Swamp.
“It was so loud up there, it was crazy,” Harris said. “You had to talk in someone’s ear just so they could hear me.”
Harris didn’t get a chance to sit down and talk with Florida head coach Will Muschamp, but he was able to speak with linebackers coach D.J. Durkin and tight ends coach Derek Lewis. Lewis is Florida’s primary recruiter in the Tampa area.
“I talked to coach Lewis and coach Durkin,” Harris said. “He just told me what to watch my position and see how the game is, how fast the game is and to watch the linebacker’s technique wise.”
Harris said Durkin and Lewis didn’t talk to Harris about a scholarship offer on Saturday, but talked to him about other things.
“They actually didn’t talk about an offer, but they talked to me about where I’m at and what the depth chart looks like,” he said.
The 6-foot-1, 195-pound outside linebacker currently holds scholarship offers from UAB and Vanderbilt, but other schools are showing interest. It’s early on in the recruiting process for Harris, but he said that six schools are standing out to him right now.
“UAB and Vanderbilt because they have offered, then USF, Florida, and Auburn are my other top schools,” he said. “Alabama, too. They are showing me a little love right now and sending me letters and things like that.”
Harris said he is planning on attending the Alabama v. Auburn game, another Florida game, and another USF game. Harris thinks an offer from USF could come soon.
“USF hasn’t offered yet,” Harris said. “I’m not bragging or anything, but I’m producing on the field right now and I have a feeling an offer will come very soon.”
Harris is an athletic, physical linebacker. Combine that with the fact that he carries a 3.9 grade point average and his offer list is sure to climb.
Gator Country football and recruiting analyst Derek Tyson can be reached at Derek@GatorCountry.com. You can also follow him on Twitter at DerekTysonGC.