While his college future has been cloudy the last several weeks since Derek Dooley was fired at the University of Tennessee, Vol commit Paul Harris had his mind on one thing and that was to win make it to the state championship game this weekend in Maryland.
He and his Douglass High School team made it to the Class 2A final this weekend but came up short losing to Middleton 30-12.
"We lost so I wasn't too happy about that. I was really trying to do something and I really couldn't do anything. I was double and triple-teamed and I didn't know they were going to play me like that. I just felt bad for my coaches and stuff and it really didn't go the way I planned it would," Harris said Sunday afternoon. "It was frustrating and my team was expecting so much more out of me and my coaches were, too. It was disappointing. Middleton's a good team and they were coached really well."
Even though he and his teammates weren't able to cap off a season with a state championship, the 6-foot-4, 190-pound receiver had an impressive season. He finished with 732 receiving yards on only 32 catches, 22.9 yards per catch, and six receiving touchdowns as well as a kickoff return for a touchdown.
Beyond his team goals, Harris said he wanted to show everyone he was one of the top receivers in the country.
"It was good. It was a good senior season," Harris said. "I hope other people think that, too, the people that watch the games because I wanted to prove to everybody I was a top wide receiver in my class because they have me at 31 in my class ranking-wise and I just wanted to show everybody that I'm better than what they gave me. I just wanted to show everybody and prove that I'm a top wide receiver in the 2013 class."
With his season over, Harris can now devote his attention to his recruitment. Tennessee wide receivers coach Darin Hinshaw visited with him last week and Harris said as long as Hinshaw is with the Vols he's firm to Tennessee.
"I'm enrolling early at the University of Tennessee as of right now," Harris said. "I'm pretty good as long as my wide receivers coach stays there. That was one of the big reasons I committed to Tennessee because he was my coach. If they fire him, which I doubt they would do, but if they do I'm looking at Oregon and South Carolina. If they fire him before I enroll than I'm going to look at other schools than. But, if they don't I'm going to stay there."
Currently, Harris doesn't have an official visit scheduled and said as long as he meets the new head coach he will be fine.
"It's up in the air because if they get a new coach before I can go down there coach Hinshaw said he's going to come up and visit me. So, I don't need to take an official if he's going to come up here," Harris said. "I'm not too much caught up in all the facilities and that stuff and I know it's nice and all that stuff, but the main thing I focus on is what they're going to do with the coaching staff, that's the main thing."
Because of the head coaching search and unknown with the assistants, Harris said he's setting up backup plans. He has a visit scheduled to Oregon and is looking at another SEC school as well.
"I'm talking to Oregon coach Scott Frost and I have a decent relationship with him and South Carolina has been trying to reach out to me and I may take an official there. I know I'm probably going to take an official visit there (Dec. 14)," Harris offered.
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