South Carolina landed its third defensive back commitment of the 2014 class Friday morning when three-star cornerback Al Harris Jr. (Fort Lauderdale, Fla./St. Thomas Aquinas) announced a pledge to the Gamecocks.
Three-star CB Al Harris Jr. is the Gamecocks 10 commitment in the 2014 class.
"It feels good. I'm relieved and and I'm excited at the same time. I really like the scheme they run," Harris said. "It really fits my abilities. And I just like the overall feel of the school. I feel like I can be productive there."
The 5-foot-11, 160-pound prospect chose the Gamecocks over offers from Florida State, Arkansas, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Illinois, Penn State, Purdue, Rutgers and Wisconsin.
South Carolina secondary coach Grady Brown made Harris a priority for the Gamecocks and was responsible for landing the NFL legacy.
"I think he's a really good coach," Harris said. "He's a real good guy. He's coached some real good guys and he's been coaching for a while, so he just knows what he's doing."
Harris' father, Al Harris Sr., is a former NFL Pro-Bowler and fourteen-year veteran of the league. He is currently an assistant coach for the Kansas City Chiefs. Harris Sr. and Brown also hit it off.
"They had a good relationship with each other," Harris Jr. said. "He spoke to my dad frequently. They had a really good relationship and that played a part also."
Harris Jr. says his father's opinion also was a big factor in his decision.
"He did his research also," Harris said. "He likes their defensive coordinator. He likes the scheme they run. He talked to former players like Lito Sheppard (who played for Steve Spurrier) and Sheldon Brown (who played at South Carolina), I think. They gave good reports on them."
Harris, who actually hasn't visited the South Carolina campus yet, never got caught up in the recruiting process and was much more interested in just getting better for next season. That's also the main reason he decided to go ahead and get the process over with.
Harris plans to visit South Carolina soon.
"My commitment is pretty firm," he says. "My commitment is to them and I don't think I'm planning on visiting any other schools."
Harris' message to other Gamecocks fans was a simple one: "Go Gamecocks."
With a rating of 85, Harris is ranked the No. 77 cornerback in the country and No. 112 prospect in Florida by 247Sports. In the 247Composite, Harris is ranked the No. 66 cornerback and No. 118 prospect in Florida with a rating of .8457.
Harris is the 10th commitment to the Gamecocks' class of 2014 and may be the last defensive back they have room for.
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