PLAQUEMINE, La. — Todd Harris, 2017 college football recruiting’s top uncommitted safety, visited LSU and Alabama the past two weekends.
With less than eight days between now and Feb. 1’s National Signing Day, the 4-star defensive back is effectively torn.
Harris has a top 4 of LSU, Alabama, Arizona State and TCU — which he will visit this coming weekend. But in reading between the lines, this is a battle between the Tigers and the Tide.
For now, the Under Armour All-American safety remains undecided about his college destination.
“I need to do a lot of thinking,” Harris told SEC Country. “I’m taking these visits and all these schools are showing me a good time and what they’ve got to offer, opportunities on and off the field. It came fast, but I’m ready for it to be over with. Nothing is set in stone now, but I’ll know for sure when I leave that Sunday what I’m going to do, and I’ll take those last two, three days to finalize things when I’m back.”
In other words, TCU will have to make a significant impression to keep pace with LSU and Alabama. The Horned Frogs’ staff made a concerted effort for the prized safety, especially of late.
This is coming down to LSU or ‘Bama, with the Tigers as the longtime leader trying to hold off a late push from Nick Saban’s Tide.
“LSU did a great job of recruiting me throughout the process,” Harris said. “Everyone is equal right now, and I’m stuck. I don’t know what I’m doing to do. These visits really make you think about stuff. This Alabama visit, I really enjoyed it and put a lot more thought into my recruiting process. Visiting all these schools makes it hard for me. They’ve all been great weekends, so you’ve got to find the small things.”
Beckoning from the Bayou
Harris officially visited LSU first — from Jan. 13-15 — capping the weekend with lengthy discussions with head coach Ed Orgeron, defensive coordinator Dave Aranda and defensive backs coach Corey Raymond. Their messages remained consistent throughout the recruiting process and still resonate with Harris.
“Coach O likes to talk about playing for the state of Louisiana and representing LSU,” Harris said. “Coach Raymond is laid back, talks about how defensive backs are the best, the best group on the team, the best group in the nation. That’s his message — be the best and play with the best.”
When Harris landed his offer from Alabama in July, it carried weight. The Tide immediately ascended to a finalist for the Louisiana native, and they reached new heights after his most recent trip to Tuscaloosa.
Harris was golf carting with Saban, spent quality time with each of the Alabama coaches and left more impressed with the Tide than he anticipated.
“I really enjoyed it a lot football-wise, being successful as a man by attending the University of Alabama. It’s brotherhood over there,” Harris said. “They told me to roll with the Tide or get rolled over, and that they’d love to have me. The secondary is kind of lacking with playing leaving for the draft or being seniors. They think they can use me if I come in, put the work in and show I want to be there and play.”
LSU continues to court Harris. Raymond envisions the 6-foot-1, 180-pounder from Plaquemine (La.) High immediately contributing in the team’s dime package as a hybrid safety.
And the winner is …
With Alabama surging and LSU firmly in the mix, as it has been all along, Harris hopes to make up his mind in a matter of days.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do or say that anyone has an advantage,” he said. “After this visit (to TCU), I’m going to start finalizing things and talk with my parents to see if we’re on the same page.
“Coach O wants to do great things at LSU. Nick Saban, that’s the GOAT. Their messages are similar and both left me with good impressions.”
All ratings are from the 247Sports composite rankings unless otherwise noted.
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