September 9, 2010

Harrison twins enjoy A&M visit

When Texas A&M basketball coach Mark Turgeon arrived on campus in 2007, he made his initial imprint recruiting with out of state prospects such as Dash Harris and David Loubeau from out of state. However, as Turgeon and his staff (which has had remarkably little turnover) have become better acquainted with high school and AAU coaches within the state, the Aggies have begin to pick off in-state talent such as Daniel Alexander and Kourtney Roberson in the 2010 class and four star Jamal Branch in the 2011 class.

Now, like other programs, A&M is moving on to the 2012 and 2013 classes and the 2013 class within the state is loaded with four of's top 15 national prospects. Two of those 15 were on A&M's campus this past weekend for an unofficial visit including the number one ranked prospect in the class, Andrew Harrison,who is a point guard. Shooting guard Aaron Harrison checks in at number 10, not far behind him. The duo (both of whom are 6 foot 5) made their second trip to A&M since June along with their father Aaron, Sr. who is also their AAU coach.

"We met the coaches and spent some quality time with them," said Harrison. "I got to see a little football. We had heard about the legend of A&M football, the crowd, the traditions. We got to see all of those things and people actually acting them out. I'm originally from Baltimore and a game there consists of 10 or 15 fans and parents. That's it. They (A&M fans) are fully engaged."

A&M didn't just make an impression on the elder Harrison their game day atmosphere for football on the visit. He was also moved by the response of the A&M staff and community to the recent passing of Bellaire forward Tobi Oyedeji, a signee in A&M's class of 2010.

"There's a couple of things that has kept my interest with A&M," said Harrison. "I think coach Turgeon is one of the best human beings around. I didn't know Tobi (Oyedeji) very well but what the whole community did, what A&M did, people showing up for that game (the benefit game)…word gets around. We went to the tailgate and went to the game. We messed around a little bit and walked the campus, those kinds of things. It was the same thing during the summer where we met the staff and the other kids."

The twins have visited A&M, Texas, Baylor, Arizona, Maryland, Georgetown, North Carolina, and Duke. Mr. Harrison said that all of the visits were positive in their own way and that he wants his children to see as many schools as possible.

"All of them have things you like about them," he said. "I want them to take advantage of this time, to see what it has to offer. They are going to pick a school but they need to see what everyone has to offer, not just facilities, but the whole thing. One of my sons, Andrew, is a gym rat. If he's got food and TV, he'll live there at the gym. That facility (at A&M) is incredible."

Given Harrison's experience with the recruiting process as an AAU coach with other youngsters, he was asked how he was dealing with it as a father.

"It's the beginning of the process so I'm letting them see all there is to see," he said. "But I have to trust them. These are my kids. We'll eventually narrow it down. It's what mom feels comfortable with and what I feel comfortable with and let them choose."

"You get yourself into a situation that's right for you. If, you don't get playing time, that's your fault. Location…if they went to Syracuse, I would be fine with that. Staying closer would be a plus with the wife. A&M is probably the closest college they are considering. There's some measures that will come in later. It's important to try to meet as many of their needs as possible."

Are there any other visits coming up for the family?

"I'm focusing on work and they are focusing on their season," he said. "I'm really not doing anything else. They have the John Lucas camp at Kentucky on October 2 and start practice October 27."

The Harrisons transferred from Strake Jesuit to Fort Bend Travis for the 2010 school year in order to be closer to home. The best news from a basketball standpoint is that the two will be surrounded by enough height so that they can play their natural positions.

"Fortunately, we have one guy that's 6 foot 8 and his brother goes to Marquette," said Harrison. "Another kid grew about three inches to about 6 foot 7. Another kid is going to Iowa State is about 6 foot 4. He's got a chance to handle the ball and do all of those things."

The Harrisons have offers from Texas A&M, Texas, Baylor, Arizona, Maryland, and at least two other schools. Mr. Harrison indicated that they had not thought about a timetable for committing.

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