Several months ago was the first time I heard the name Brandon Harris. Well, that's a pretty common name, so a few months ago was the first time I had heard of this Brandon Harris. At the time, he was considered a bit of an up and coming prospect, definitely D1 worthy, but BCS? Mayyybbbeeeee. Louisiana Tech seemed his top suitor at the time. Not kidding.
Time went by and LSU seemed to have a cursory interest in Harris, but he also seemed to be the back-up plan, or the next guy on the list. Other names were thrown about: Mason Rudolph (Oklahoma State), DeShone Kizer (Notre Dame), Deshaun Watson (Clemson). Brandon Watkins remained of interest. Meanwhile, Harris' recruiting platform began to grow. Auburn took interest. And Ohio State. Baylor. A&M. Arkansas. Back-up plan no more.
On May 8th, Cam Cameron showed up to Parkway High School. Harris went through the routine of his spring practice, Cameron watching all the way. Clearly he showed something. Harris called Miles after practice and Miles extended his offer, right on the trail of Cameron's glowing recommendation. Cameron hadn't seen Harris before, and one look proved good enough. Later that day he accepted an invitation to play in the Under Armour All-American Game.
Suddenly, LSU stopped being linked to other QBs. It was Harris or bust. The full court press. Bases loaded two outs in the ninth. The final penalty kick after your goalie just made a dazzling save to keep you alive. It was every sports cliche you ever heard of and more.
Ok, not really. But Harris is target no. 1. LSU already loaded up with two young QBs last year in Anthony Jennings and Hayden Retting. With Stephen Rivers ahead of them, it wasn't vitally important LSU add a QB this class. If they found one they liked, go for it. If not, save the spot for someone else and turn the attention to next season.
Harris proved to be the right target. Here's some highlight tape:
First things first, he's got a thin, wiry build. Long arms and legs. He's probably in the 6'2" range, may a shade over. He reminds me of former LSU commit and Oregon Quarterback Darron Thomas. Harris certainly has some mobility to him, but he doesn't seem like a running back playing QB either.
Highlight tapes aren't everything, but Harris seems to love to wing it deep. There's a huge collection of deep balls on the tape. Fortunately he's got a strong arm. He can get the ball out there. But not just for deep balls. He can put some mustard on those short and intermediate throws when he needs to squeeze it in tight places. However, one thing I like is that he doesn't try to Captain Commando every throw. If there's a nice, easy throw to be had, he's going to take a nice, easy throw.
When he keeps his base under him and his footwork consistent, he can throw some really beautiful balls. Trouble is, he's inconsistent in that regard. I think his footwork needs some polish. He's not a complete clunker there, but he just needs to develop consistency.
I'm not a fan of his throwing motion. His arm slot is too low. He's got a bit too much wind up. To me, it looks like he tries to generate strength on his throws with this torso rather than his legs. That will need to be corrected.
As a runner, he does try and take the sideline too much. That works in HS where he's one of the best and fastest athletes on the field, but on the next level, he needs to plow ahead.
Obviously his highlight tape isn't going to show him handing the ball off, though I do think that'd be beneficial for us to learn about his decision making. From all I've seen, I'm not sure where he stands as a decision maker. He seems to improvise a good bit. The bonus here is that he's pretty collected when things break down. The downside is that you don't want a wild man.
I like Harris. I like Anthony Jennings more. I probably like Hayden Rettig more as well. I think he's got a plus arm and solid athletic ability, both good tools. I think he may have more overall physical tools than Jennings, but he's not nearly as refined and technical. The good thing is, those are things that can be coached up and perfected. Tools, brains, guts, and hard work. That's a QB.
He's got a great attitude (recruiting drama aside). He wants to be coached up. He wants to be great. He's a down-to-earth, likable kid. His teammates will love him. He mentioned in one interview that he didn't want to go to the Ohio Hall of Fame or the Alabama Hall of Fame, he wants to go to the Louisiana Hall of Fame. I think that's a testament to his work ethic and attitude.
He's going to hit the trail for us like crazy. I think he'll be a positive force for us in recruiting.
UPDATED TO INCLUDE LINK TO VIDEO OF COMMITMENT: