Louisiana’s top-ranked athlete has trimmed a lofty offer list to four.
Christian Harris, a 4-star athlete who projects as a linebacker at the next level, unveiled a final foursome of LSU, Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M on Monday night. Each of those four schools will host the 6-foot-2, 235-pound prospect for an official visit this fall ahead of a scheduled December commitment.
“The top four is based off the relationships I have with the coaches and with me wanting to play on defense,” Harris told SEC Country. “It’s about where I fit best. With those [four] schools, I feel I could do best on defense, playing linebacker and feeling the most comfortable at.”
Harris noted that all four of his SEC finalists like him on defense. Alabama, Auburn and LSU view him as a true inside linebacker, while Texas A&M is courting him as a Buck or Rover on the outside.
Additionally, after visiting all four of these campuses on multiple occasions, Harris made it clear that there is no leader in the clubhouse at the moment.
“Everywhere I visited, I fell in love with,” he said. “There’s not one school that’s standing out. Everyone is pretty much even.”
Harris was on LSU’s campus on Thursday and Friday for the first time since the spring.
Harris garnered an offer from the hometown team on March 1 — as an offensive athlete. When he returned to campus this weekend, Harris enjoyed a conversation with Tigers defensive coordinator Dave Aranda about his fit on defense.
“Everybody recruiting me asked me what position I wanted to play. I used to say safety or receiver, but in talking about my size and how good I am and my athleticism, I’m probably going to get bigger and have to play inside linebacker,” Harris explained.
“It look them [LSU] a little longer to offer because they didn’t know what position I would play,” he continued. “I play so many different positions [for University Lab], so when they offered, it was on offense. When I told them I wanted to play defense, Coach Aranda told me he had always been interested in me at linebacker. He explained the defense to me and how I would fit in and do things like Devin White.”
Harris spent a lot of time with not only Aranda, but area recruiter Tommie Robinson and also coach Ed Orgeron during his LSU unofficial. He was on campus for two days, including a Friday photoshoot in the locker room.
“It was pretty,” Harris said. “I hadn’t been to LSU in a minute, so it was pretty cool to get back and to see everyone and talk to everybody.”
Harris originally planned to give a commitment prior to his senior season, but now has a new timeline in mind. Louisiana’s No. 5-ranked prospect plans to make four official visits and make a decision during the early signing period in December.
Harris has already penciled in official visits to Texas A&M on Sept. 8 and to Alabama on Oct. 12. He is slated to schedule officials to LSU and Auburn as well, and will not make any other official visits to schools outside his top four.
Here is Harris’ breakdown of each of his four finalists:
Texas A&M: I went there for a couple and met the entire staff. It was pretty cool seeing people I already knew. I felt a family vibe and that’s what I’m looking for. It was very family oriented. I had a chance to talk to a couple players, a couple coaches and it was a pretty good visit. I felt comfortable with the players and coaches because I had been there before, but this time I got to talk to people and get to know them better. They switched their entire staff under Jimbo [Fisher], and it feels like they have a championship mentality and want to turn things around.
Alabama: The relationship I have with the coaches there are really strong. They’re so successful and they take care of you in life after football. That stuck out to me. They’re recruiting me hard because they need some linebackers right now. They’re short on numbers at the inside linebacker position, so they’re recruiting me hard because they need me.
Auburn: The first time I went there, I got to sit down with [linebackers] Coach T-Will [Travis Williams] and talk to him. He’s a great guy and we have a really good relationship. I was there for the cookout and it was very non-football-related kind of stuff. You could see what kind of family vibe they have there and the things they offer outside of football. I got to sit down with some other recruits, some players and coaches, and got to talk about the defense and playing inside at linebacker early when I get there.
LSU: I’ve always been an LSU fan. I grew up 15 minutes away and I’ve had that thought — “What if I stay home?” My parents wouldn’t have to drive far for games. That’s always in the back of my mind about what it would be like to stay home. I have a good relationship with the coaches, especially Coach Robinson and Coach Orgeron as well.