NEW ORLEANS — Todd Harris didn’t expect to be uncommitted when Friday night’s season opener rolled around.
No, the nation’s No. 8 safety in the 2017 class had already narrowed the field down to three — LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss — and was prepared to announce his decision. The problem was that Harris hadn’t made up his mind.
Harris, a 4-star safety from Plaquemine (La.) High School, remains uncommitted into September and likely will be throughout the fall. LSU, Alabama and Ole Miss all remain in the mix, but he isn’t limiting his recruitment to those three schools. In fact, because he was unable to settle on one school last month, Harris believes there’s plenty of sorting out he needs to do before he’s ready to commit.
“I just want to take my time with it. I’m trying not to rush anything,” Harris told SEC Country. “I want to focus on my team right now and winning a state championship, so there’s no telling when I’m going to commit. I have a few things in mind, but as of right now, I’m holding off to focus on my team.”
“I’m not really sure, not sure at all yet,” he added in reference to a timeline for making a decision. “I haven’t even been thinking about committing. I’m holding off right now, and when the time comes, the time comes.”
Originally, Harris wanted to make his commitment in January 2017 during the Under Armour All-American Game in Orlando, Fla. He moved up his timeline earlier this summer, telling SEC Country he wanted to get it out of the way to focus on his senior season and to secure a spot in a recruiting class if he were to get injured.
The Under Armour All-American Game remains a possibility since January comes about a month after Harris’ senior season comes to a close.
With the fall ahead of him, Harris named Alabama, Ole Miss and Arkansas as the schools he’s heard from the most. Expect both Miami and Notre Dame to check in with Harris in due time as well.
LSU has remained in touch, with defensive backs coach Corey Raymond reaching out to the 4-star safety two weeks ago and coach Les Miles trying to schedule a meeting with him.
The Tigers’ message to Harris? Well, read between the lines …
“I talked to coach Raymond two weeks ago. I talked to him at the camp in July, and they (LSU) send me mail a lot,” Harris said. “I was supposed to talk to coach Miles. My parents and I were supposed to go meet with him, but that never happened. We’ll schedule it for another time, but I guess he was trying to get me to commit to LSU.”
LSU’s safety board is currently two deep with commitments from 5-star talent JaCoby Stevens and 4-star player Grant Delpit. In contrast, Alabama’s is empty. The offer to Harris in July vaulted the defending national champions into the race because of the need they have at his position.
That’s not to say that it’s eliminated LSU, though.
Harris is uber competitive and is not afraid to commit with two other elite prospects at his position. However, he’s also aware of LSU’s depth chart and what he may face if he were to commit to the Tigers.
“I think it’s pretty cool to have three safeties commit to LSU,” Harris said. “But at the end of the day, it doesn’t wipe them out of the picture, but I put it in consideration. They have a lot of safeties. Cam Lewis, Eric Monroe and guys that can play safety, so I don’t want to get there and be dead last on the depth chart.”
Todd Harris nearly brings in the INT pic.twitter.com/9WjMZhl2VQ
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) September 3, 2016
Todd Harris first to make a special teams play pic.twitter.com/VXFvDJAVwO
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) September 3, 2016
Harris has also worked in as nickelback and cornerback for Plaquemine and on the 7-on-7 circuit, and has previously spoken to Raymond about taking on that role for LSU.
It’s also worth mentioning that Harris is good friends with Delpit, and the two standout safeties discussed sharing a secondary together in Baton Rouge during the Rivals 5-star challenge in Atlanta and The Opening regional in New Orleans this spring.
Stevens, LSU’s other safety pledge, has also been in touch with Harris. Those two are developing a bond. It’s worth mentioning that Harris is also best friends with 4-star linebacker commit Patrick Queen.
Friendships certainly play a part in Harris’ decision, but there are other factors to consider.
“Grant and I were talking it up a bit about committing to LSU. JaCoby asked me when he was coming down to hang out with him and come to LSU. Grant even texted me before this game and told me to win,” Harris said. “Grant and I have a real good relationship. That’s the thing to keep in mind. We’re close friends and we want to ball together, but I got to go somewhere where I’m comfortable, not just because he’s there.”
LSU offers 5-star Penn State commit, two Texas athletes
The first week of September coincided with a handful of news offer being dished out.
Last week, LSU extended overtures to some notable Class of 2018 prospects, including the No. 1 outside linebacker Palaie Gaoteote, 5-star running back Jaelen Gill and 4-star Notre Dame commit Markese Stepp. On Monday, the team offered yet another 5-star recruit.
Penn State defensive end commit Micah Parsons reported an LSU offer. The 6-foot-3, 215-pound rising junior is Pennsylvania’s top-ranked prospect and is the No. 2 strong-side end in the class, not to mention the No. 5 overall player, per the 247Sports Composite.
Parsons has been committed to Penn State since February and has not visited any other schools since. The future U.S. Army All-American is solid with the Nittany Lions despite longtime interest from LSU, as well as recent offers from Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, Southern Cal and Florida State.
— #blessed⭐️MVP™ (@Micah_Parsons90) September 5, 2016
LSU also extended an offer to a pair of 2018 Texas athletes: Jordan and Joshua Moore. Joshua is rated as the No. 9 prospect from the Lone Star State and the No. 13 wide receiver in the class. Jordan is the No. 28 prospect from Texas and the No. 19 safety, per the 247Sports Composite ranking.
Joshua Moore is a 6-foot-1, 168-pound 4-star recruit who already boasts an offer sheet with nearly 30 schools. Most notably, the in-state powers Texas and Texas A&M have made progress with Moore. He recently attended the Aggies’ season opener against UCLA along with his brother.
Worth noting: Joshua considers LSU his dream school. He’s a candidate to visit at some point in the fall. The Tigers are courting Jordan as a safety although he also plays running back for Yoakum (Texas) High School. Jordan visited LSU’s campus in June. Joshua was unable to make it while dealing with an illness.
Jordan left his inagural visit to Baton Rouge with a positive experience.
“Man, I loved it,” Moore told SEC Country after the visit. “I met with Raymond and some of the strength and conditioning coaches … He (Raymond) loved my film. He said he loved it and he feels like I can come in and play early. He’s the type of coach I would like to play under because he knows the game and he knows what it takes. LSU is the real ‘DBU,’ so I’m excited.”
— Sam Spiegelman (@samspiegs) September 5, 2016
— Jordan moore✨ (@Jo_moore2) September 5, 2016
Sam Spiegelman covers LSU football recruiting for SECCountry.com and The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow him on Twitter for the latest on who’s on their way to play in Tiger Stadium.