BATON ROUGE, La. — While early-enrolled safeties JaCoby Stevens and Grant Delpit got ready for their first spring game as members of the LSU football team, the third safety in LSU’s recruiting class of 2017 prepped for a competition of his own.
Todd Harris, a 4-star safety from Plaquemine (La.) High School, hasn’t enrolled at LSU. He won’t join Stevens, Delpit and the rest of his teammates until summer. So for now, his only responsibilities are finishing high school and earning a championship in his secondary sport.
Harris participated in the District 6-4A track meet Wednesday, representing Plaquemine in the long jump, triple jump, high jump and 4×100-meter relay. Harris easily could have focused his last semester of high school on sprinting to stay in football shape. Instead, he said he works as a jumper to help get the points to win district and region championships, sacrificing individual awards for his team.
Well, that and he takes a good bit of pride in his leaping ability.
“I got hops,” Harris said. “I’ve got bunnies.”
Harris competed through a bum ankle Wednesday, an injury from playing basketball to stay in shape as suggested by LSU’s workout plan. He was also running and jumping with a splint on his left wrist as he deals with a weightlifting injury. Despite his nagging injuries, Harris finished second in all three jumping events to be named top field performer of the meet.
Months behind, staying ahead
Still, winning individual honors at a 4A track and field meet is a bit of a step down from preparing for a nationally televised spring game on Saturday.
Harris will attend Saturday’s game, but he won’t be on the field like his close friends Delpit and Stevens. Those 2 turned heads as early enrollees this spring and seem to have an advantage over Harris for early playing time.
But that’s precisely what is motivating Harris.
“It makes me know that I’ve got to work harder,” Harris said. “Those guys are already there putting in work, getting coached up, getting a feel for college. I’m just here trying to do as much as I can do on my own to get to LSU in the summertime.”
Harris considered graduating early and stepping into LSU football as Stevens, Delpit and 4 other members of his recruiting class did. Ultimately, the advice of his mother stuck. Terri Harris told him that a senior year of high school only comes once, and that he should enjoy it. Harris heeded that advice.
But that doesn’t mean he’s not looking ahead.
“I’m going to try to come in with a focused attitude,” Harris said. “At the end of the day, I know that I’m going to a place where there’s a lot of competition. I don’t want to be the weak link, so I’m going to go in and day-in, day-out practice hard, show the coaches I’ve got a lot of effort.”