On April fools day, The NCAA was anything but fun and jokes. Amidst the national crisis that is the COVID-19 pandemic, the NCAA announced that they will extend the current recruiting dead period for all Division I and II schools until at least May 31. The news at the end of the day wasn’t shocking in the slightest.
Coaches are still permitted to communicate with recruits, they just can’t schedule any official or unofficial meetings. Luckily, Texas has already been very busy with its 2021 class. Tom Herman has secured commitments from multiple 4-star recruits and a 5-star recruit, according to the 247Sports composite rankings.
Currently, UT has a top ten 2021 recruiting class, including the best in the Big-12. One reason for that is 4-star pledge, Derrick Harris Jr.
Harris Jr. is an outside linebacker for New Caney High School outside of Houston. He’s a 4-star prospect on the 247Sports composite and is currently listed as the 25th best player in the state of Texas. He announced his decision to commit to The University of Texas on August 3 of last year.
“What made me decide on Texas was basically how the coaches were and how great the people are down there, like the players and just everyone in general,” Harris Jr. said on his commitment.
Harris Jr. has been wreaking havoc on opposing offenses for the past two years as part of the Eagles defense. In 2017, prior to Harris being in the starting rotation, the Eagles were allowing upwards of 28 points per game. Since his insertion onto the field as a sophomore, on average, the Eagles are allowing offenses to score around 14 points a game.
“What leads to my personal success is mainly for God giving me that talent and my family for just believing in me,” Harris said on his success. “Also just me putting in the effort to just be where I’m at today.”
In his two seasons as an outside linebacker for New Caney, Harris has put up a stat-line that includes 172 tackles, including almost 40 for a loss, nearly 10 sacks, three interceptions, 13 passes defended and a pair of forced fumbles. It goes without saying that he can literally do it all.
He received offers from Baylor, Ole Miss, Miami, and Texas A&M among others before ultimately committing to the Longhorns.
“I’m just looking forward to coming in and be the best player and teammate I can be and hopefully everything would take care of itself,” Harris said on his goals for becoming a Longhorn.
Undoubtedly he will be a force to reckon with when he becomes a member of the Texas family. He’s a lightning-quick linebacker who’s just as good as meeting a running back behind the line of scrimmage as he is in pass coverage. Fans will have to wait for his arrival though as he still has one more year in Houston before traveling north to Austin.
Last season, New Caney took a 10-0 record into the playoffs before being one and done in the 5A D1 state playoffs.
“What I’m looking forward in my senior year is being a better leader and showing everyone else that I am a hard worker and that I gave it all out,” Harris Jr. said.
From 2018-2021 Texas has consistently compiled Top-10 recruiting classes nationally. Commits like Derrick Harris Jr. are why the Longhorns have a lot to be proud of when it comes to recruiting bragging rights.
Harris Jr. wants Texas fans to know a few things about him before his arrival next year.
“UT fans should know that they are getting a hard worker and someone who will give their all to the team and be there through the ups and downs.”
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