Kirby Smart and Company held their always-successful Scavenger Hunt recruiting weekend recently, and the event continues to pay dividends. This morning the ‘Dawgs picked up a public commitment from one of the major targets on their offensive line board in Hamburg, New York (St. Francis HS) offensive tackle Marcus Harrison.
Harrison is currently ranked outside the national top 500 recruits by 247Sports and is the #48 offensive tackle according to that same service. But as usual when you see those kind of rankings for a player the two-time defending national champions really wanted, there’s more to the story. Harrison also claimed offers from schools like Miami, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. In fact the Badgers were really pressing for the three year starter who’s also an elite shot putter.
Shot Put PR 54'6 ft. #2 in NYS pic.twitter.com/N85b3c1hBW— Marcus Harrison (@MarcusH89810868) February 10, 2023
At 6’8, 295 pounds Harrison somehow still looks a bit lanky and could easily play in the 325 pound range with proper training and nutrition (you might have heard, Kirby Smart is kind of a stickler for those).
On the field, we can glean a couple of things from Harrison’s junior highlight tape.
The first play shows him getting outside to block in a way that has to warm the depths of Stacy Searels’ heart. As always, it’s difficult to draw too many conclusions from high school offensive line tape. The players Harrison is road-grading in this film are, like 99.5% of the human population, smaller than he is. I can say that his feet are above average if not elite. Especially in pass sets he has a tendency to stop moving his feet after delivering an initial punch. That works fine against 190 pound high school edge rushers. It will not work against the relentless velociraptors in pads he’ll see in the SEC.
Harrison’s pad level is pretty good for a taller lineman, and his run blocking first step is excellent for a guy of his size and length. I also like that he seems to have a bit of a nasty streak. I don’t generally condone bullying. Except between the lines on a football field. I want to see OL prospects who are bigger, faster and stronger than their competition act like they are bigger, faster and stronger. Harrison does that in these highlights.
Having not seen him work out personally I have no idea how Harrison fares against elite competition but from what I do have I see a guy with the physical tools to become an excellent college player if he takes coaching well. These are the sort of players Coach Smart and staff have had unbelievable success tucking in among the touted five stars, often looking brilliant in hindsight.
Harrison is the 15th commitment for a Bulldog class which remains #1 in 247’s 2024 team rankings, comfortably out in front of Michigan, Ohio State, and Notre Dame. While that’s a relatively large early group for the notoriously hard-closing Smart, there is still space for quite a few highly-ranked recruits thanks to a large crop of NFL entries and one of the SEC’s larger groups of transfers. So expect a few more of these commitment stories in the coming days and weeks. Until later…