'23 AZ DB - A.J. Harris (Verbal Offer)

Discussion in ''23 Offered Prospects' started by OSUBasketballJunkie, Mar 24, 2021.

  1. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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    Flashing back to earlier this summer, five-star phenom cornerback AJ Harris told Eleven Warriors at The Opening Invitational he would consider announcing his commitment by the end of July. Since then, Harris has taken a deep breath and slowed down his timeline.

    In case you missed it from Tuesday’s Hurry-Up, Harris, the 13th-rated prospect and the third-rated cornerback in the 2023 class per 247Sports’ composite rankings, trimmed his top school list down from 13 to seven. Those schools consisted of Ohio State, Alabama, Georgia, Clemson, LSU, North Carolina and Notre Dame. The 6-foot-2, 180-pound cornerback also set a commitment date on his birthday, Jan. 11, 2022.

    “He has always been ready to go sooner rather than later,” his father, Daniel Harris, told Eleven Warriors Wednesday afternoon. “But then what happened is, his birthday is a good time. Plus, by that point of the year, you’ll have an idea of who’s getting ready to (make a) change, what’s going on with the defensive backs at all of the schools that he’s interested in, all of the 2022 DBs should be locked in by that point. So he can see the big and more clear picture.”

    At this point, the Harris family has only three visits from his top seven locked in: Oct. 9 at Ohio State, Oct. 16 at Georgia and Oct. 30 at Clemson. Harris’ visit to Columbus was rescheduled from Sept. 11 where they couldn’t make it in time for a Noon kickoff. Despite a noon kickoff set for the Maryland game on Oct. 9, Harris shouldn’t have a problem making it to Columbus because Glenwood High School (Phenix City, Alabama) plays on a Thursday night that week.

    While only three visits are locked in, the Harris family hopes to get to at least one of LSU or North Carolina’s games. They’d also like to attend Notre Dame’s game against USC on Oct. 23, but they’re not optimistic about the chances considering the nearest hotel available to South Bend for that weekend is about an hour away. Of course, Alabama is a big-time contender for Harris and the family is considering attending this weekend's game against Southern Miss. Daniel Harris also knows Alabama is the closest school in proximity to the family's residence and there won't be a problem getting there should they need to visit again.

    With visit plans tentatively set, Harris is ready to make one final tour of his prospective schools. Although the schools he’s truly directing the majority of his attention toward might really be fewer than the seven he put out on social media.

    “His mother and I ask him every week, alright AJ, who’s one, two and three?,” Daniel Harris said. “And we see if it wavers every week. Right now, it’s not wavering that much, so the picture is becoming pretty clear.”

    Nevertheless, AJ will be monitoring two big factors when considering each institution: How he can be developed by each program and the relationship he builds with the coaching staff. The elder Harris essentially admitted there is no wrong answer on the development angle from the top seven, highlighting specifically LSU and OSU under Kerry Coombs.

    As for relationship building, the elder Harris said a lot of recruiters nationwide pitch what their school and scheme can do for AJ, but don’t necessarily take the time to know him.

    “He’s big on relationships,” Daniel Harris said. “Like, who is he going to feel comfortable with on the day he fails a test or has a shitty practice? Who does he feel comfortable with on that day?”

    Where Ohio State’s concerned, no one on the coaching staff is closer to the Harris family than Coombs. Of course, by now everyone knows the elephant in the room surrounding the much-maligned defensive coordinator. Ryan Day has been displeased by the defense’s porous start to the 2021 campaign and took play calling duties away from Coombs last weekend and gave them to defensive backs coach Matt Barnes, which seems to be the plan going forward until further notice. What will that mean for Coombs’ future at Ohio State? The Harris family isn’t necessarily concerned about the slow start to OSU’s defense, but the big picture and Coombs’ future definitely has their undivided attention.

    “Coach Coombs has done an outstanding job of recruiting AJ,” Daniel Harris said. “I told him back in August, ‘Has AJ and coach Barnes really established a rapport?’ He said, ‘I don’t know if they talk.’ I had already talked to AJ and knew that they didn’t. I was like, ‘Coach, you probably need to start having coach Barnes talk with AJ more as well.’”

    The elder Harris pointed out when his son interacts with a school, he’s looking along the lines of how a running backs or linebackers coach also engage with him, because they’re not naive to the business of big-time college football.

    “We already get it, we get staffs are going to turn over,” Daniel Harris said. “That’s not a big deal. But who else in the room is he comfortable with? He’s really big on how other coaches on the staff engage him when we go on visits. Right now, is it a problem if coach Coombs was to leave? Yeah, I would say so. Because again in the relationship piece, he ain’t really talking with coach Barnes that often. Whenever he talks to coach Day, it’s with coach Coombs, so it ain’t like he has a direct line to coach Day. It will play somewhat of a role.

    “I would be remiss if I didn’t say, ‘OK, if this thing goes south, are they going to keep him in house?’ One thing I hate to say, and I heard a couple of DB coaches say it best: sometimes they stay DB coaches because when you go up to take the coordinator job, there’s no demotion, you’re only promoting yourself out. So, if it doesn’t work as a defensive coordinator, you’re usually leaving. But we know that coach Coombs has such a great relationship with Ohio State that it could be possible, yeah, they may bring in a new defensive coordinator and he may go backwards. Which would be great for us if he decides to go back down to DB coach.”

    OSU ideally would like to sign two cornerbacks in 2023, with AJ Harris being atop their wish list.

    Considering Harris has already wanted to commit sooner rather than later, he may move up his commitment date to Dec. 13 on his mother’s birthday if he feels comfortable making a decision after the completion of his visits.

    Either way, now comes the waiting game.
     
  2. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  3. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  4. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  5. Arapahoe

    Arapahoe 2019 Big Ten Champs! Staff Member

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    Would love to get him
     
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  6. Bucknut502

    Bucknut502 Well-Known Member

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    Definitely at the top of my list! Pulling a 5 star talent from the state of Alabama is extremely tough! But the Buckeyes are in great shape here.
     
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  7. Arapahoe

    Arapahoe 2019 Big Ten Champs! Staff Member

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    Yeah uphill battle for sure. I’d be shocked if he doesn’t go to Bama.
     
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  8. Bucknut502

    Bucknut502 Well-Known Member

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    I honestly think our biggest competition here is Clemson. But definitely can’t count out Bama.
     
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  9. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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    Buckeyes are right in this battle.......

    Top corner on the board for Ohio State in the 2023 class....
     
  10. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  11. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  12. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  13. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  14. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  15. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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    HARRIS LEANING TOWARD DECEMBER COMMITMENT
    Five-star 2023 cornerback AJ Harris has made two possible commitment dates public: Dec. 13, his mother’s birthday, or Jan. 11, his own birthday.

    Harris told On3 this week he’s leaning toward the former, assuming he can complete his visits with Clemson, North Carolina and Notre Dame before then.

    “I am leaning more towards committing December 13, on my mother’s birthday, than I am waiting for January 11,” Harris told On3. “I am not big on this recruiting process, so if I am ready to commit in December, I want to go ahead and make my decision.

    “It is hard to talk to all the different schools, handle school, and things like that, so I am thinking a lot about going ahead and committing in December.”

    Harris visited Ohio State on Oct. 9 when the Buckeyes hosted Maryland. His father, Daniel Harris, said the family was very impressed by what they saw from OSU.

    The 6-foot-2, 180-pound Alabama resident is ranked as the No. 13 overall prospect and the third-best cornerback in the 2023 class.
     
  16. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  17. OSUBasketballJunkie

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  18. OSUBasketballJunkie

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  19. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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  20. OSUBasketballJunkie

    OSUBasketballJunkie Proud to be a Buckeye Staff Member

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    Coombs checking in on a top DB target
    In addition to Barnes being out on the road recruiting, Kerry Coombs also was on the trail on Thursday in pursuit of more talent to anchor the cornerback position room. As he usually is when it comes to checking in, Coombs is always welcomed by the players he’s after, and yesterday was no different when he made a stop in Alabama to check in on 2023 five-star cornerback target, AJ Harris, who is currently regarded as the third-best corner in the class as well as the No. 19 player nationally per the 247Sports Composite.

    A cornerback target the Buckeyes have zeroed in on from the beginning, Harris has made it no secret how he feels about the Buckeyes and his appreciation for coach Coombs, but Georgia and Clemson have remained a hurdle in the way of Ohio State. Not a done deal by any means for any school, Harris hasn’t tipped his hand yet as to who he is leaning towards, but with a commitment coming in January for Harris, he isn’t going to keep people waiting too much longer.

    Having Coach Coombs in attendance to once again see Harris in person shows how much of a priority he is for the staff in their 2023 class, and why he’s been for some time now their top target at the position. With so many rumblings of coaching changes and even Oklahoma potentially targeting Clemson defensive coordinator Brent Venables as their top choice for their next head coach, things can change in a hurry. Where the Buckeyes can find a leg up on the competition is in the strong relationships they have with Harris thanks to coaches like Coombs who do a great job in recruiting.

    Nevertheless, this visit is one that could pay off in a big way.
     

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