BREAKING: Tennessee lands Tar Heel State athlete Anthony Harris
Havelock, North Carolina safety Anthony Harris has been slowly building toward a decision for the last couple of months. He's taken several trips this spring and came to a decision this week. That culminated with a public commitment to Tennessee on Friday afternoon in his school library.
"I love the place," Harris said speaking with Volquest. "It's not to far from home and the coaching staff was great. I like coach (Montario) Hardesty. He is from here and we talk all the time. The coaches told me that I needed to focus on academics and they are the only school to do that."
At 6-foot-2 and 180 pounds, Harris bring a lot to the table when he's between the white lines. It all starts with how he works and trickles down from there.
"I think I bring a lot to the table with my effort and how I work," Harris said. "I think I bring good ball skills and I love to tackle and make contact."
And that goes to what Jeremy Pruitt has told him about his game. He's versatile and can be a key member of their defense.
"They want me to play a little bit of everywhere because of my footwork and my ability to get downhill and fill in the gaps, I can fit well in their defense."
Tennessee had tandem recruited Harris with safeties coach Charles Kelly, tight ends coach Brian Niedermeyer and linebackers coach Chris Rumph all taking their shot at the talented safety.
"I feel like they are like father figures," Harris said. "I'm basing everything off how they talk to me. They will coach me up and I believe them."
Harris will return to Rocky Top next weekend as he drives to Huntsville, Alabama to see family. He'll get a good visit in and allow he and his family to spend time around the campus. A lot of credit goes to Niedermeyer who continues to showcase himself as a relatable asset for Tennessee on the trail. Also playing a huge role was the former Vol, Hardesty who can't go on the road, but can still make his presence felt.
After all, he was in Harris shoes about 13 years ago. He left New Bern in eastern North Carolina and saw plenty of quality action for Tennessee. A stint in the NFL followed by the start to his coaching career, he's back at his alma-mater where he can have an impact off the field.
"It means a lot," Harris said. "He left here and he progressed and played ball and has been successful. They aren't just about football. They push the Vol for Life program and I like that they are about the community in Knoxville."
Rumph, a veteran recruiter, has a history of recruiting in the Carolina's and he knows how to relate to recruits.
"Coach Rumph keeps it 100," Harris said. "He doesn't sugarcoat anything. He told me back in March that I needed to focus on school work and watch who I hang around. I took that to heart and I came back and finished up the spring well."
Harris is an intelligent player who will double dip this year by playing quarterback for Havelock. He's added weight this off-season which could spell plenty of trouble for the opposition.
"He's long and and lean," Havelock head coach Caleb King said. "His best years are ahead of him. He's gained almost twenty pounds this off-season. He's right at 180 pounds.He's done a great job getting stronger. We didn't have him in the state title game last year because he broke his collarbone in our second round playoff game. He tried to play through it which tells you how tough he is.”
And now he'll bring that toughness to Tennessee as a member of the Rivals250 in the class of 2019.