Impact Analysis: Anthony Harris
There are plenty of needs for Jeremy Pruitt and his staff in the 2019 recruiting class. One of those is defensive back.
Tennessee has also working hard to find recruiting success in the state of North Carolina, too and the Vols accomplished both Friday afternoon with a surprise commitment from Havelock, North Carolina safety Anthony Harris.
Harris is a 6-2, 18- pound prospect who keeps Tennessee's recruitment momentum going after choosing the Vols over Virginia Tech, North Carolina and NC State, among others. Harris is the Vols ninth commitment in the 2019 class — their fifth since May 1st
Here's what Harris' commitment means for the Vols.
HARRIS' SCOUTING REPORT
“I've been doing this 14 years. He's easily in the top five of guys I have ever coached, including the guys I have in the NFL. He's an instinctive player. He tracks the ball well in the air. His ability to fit in the run game. He's playing at the safety level 15 yards deep and he's making tackles for loss on outside runs. That's how fast he's coming down hill.
You have to enjoy the way he plays. He plays the game the right way. He's very physical, but he's also very, very intelligent. He will be our quarterback this year. He has an incredible arm. He's every knowledgable of the whole game.
He's just so intelligent. He reminds me a lot of Pharoh Cooper, but he's so physical. He's a flat striker now.
He's long and and lean. His best years are ahead of him. He's gained almost twenty pounds this offseason. 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.”
– Caleb King, Havelock High School head coach
HOW WILL HARRIS FIT IN WITH THE VOLS?
The 4-star prospect will be a different looking player this fall at 180 pounds instead of 160. But what jumps out about Harris is his length.
In any conversation about defensive backs with head coach Jeremy Pruitt, the topic of length comes up. Range and length is a must in Pruitt's evaluation.
Safety is a big need in this class with the Vols thin at that position and set to lose both Todd Kelly Jr. and Micah Abernathy after the 2018 season.
With a frame to build on and an understanding of the game, Harris checks the evaluation boxes for Pruitt and his staff.
WHAT DOES IT MEAN FOR TENNESSEE?
While Harris' commitment came a bit out of left field, he does become Pruitt's first defensive back commitment in 2019.
The Vols hope to sign around five defensive backs, with Harris claiming an early safety spot. Tennessee is still recruiting Jalyn Phillips and Jaylen McCollough at the position, among others, but it will be interesting to see if the Vols prioritize more true corners for the remaining spots now that it has a safety on board.
Another significant thing about Harris' commitment is that it officially gets the Vols in the door in the state of North Carolina under the new staff. Harris' commitment doesn't mean that several dominos will start to fall, but getting one in the Tar Heel State is important given the effort Tennessee has made in the state recently.