Michigan State football AND basketball obtained their first recruit for 2014 today as Grand Rapids Christian standout Drake Harris committed to the Spartans. Harris, a wide receiver in football and a two-guard in basketball, is generally thought of as a top-100 recruit in both sports, but don't take my word for it:
24/7 - #11 WR, #2 in Michigan, #83 Overall
...and that's the only Football ranking I could find for Harris. Harris's successes on the gridiron were attracting attention last year; as a freshman Harris scored 30 touchdowns on Grand Rapids Christian's JV team, and Scout.com analyst Allen Trieu had this to say about his football ability:
Scout.com Midwest regional manager Allen Trieu was on hand for Harris' biggest game thus far — a nine-reception, 254-yard, two-TD showing versus Muskegon Reeths-Puffer in Week 4.
"He had 160 first-half receiving yards, showing great ball skills, speed and athleticism," said Trieu. "He went high, showing his leaping ability, to snare one pass over the top of a defender and simply ran past the defense on an 89-yard touchdown. It was not great competition that he was going against, but his package of physical skills is very intriguing, and he's certainly a high-level football prospect, as well."
"Michigan was about to offer me in basketball, too," Harris said. "I just had to go down and talk to Coach (John) Beilein, but I went to the Spartan Showcase and talked to Coach Izzo for a little bit and I just made up my mind from there and felt like Michigan State was the right place for me."
Harris goes on to say in the article that he planned on waiting until the end of his Junior season to make a decision. Now about his basketball potential...
SCOUT -- #14 SG, #65 Overall
Harris isn't ranked in 24/7's top 15, or ESPN's top 60, so 65 sounds about right. Intrpdtrvlr will have more on Harris in his next recruiting update coming very soon, so I'm just going to reiterate what he wrote in the 2014 Hotlist, as there'll be more later:
Perhaps the first thing to know is that Drake is a true two-sport prospect. He claims football invitations from Florida, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State and Notre Dame. That is not a group of pigskin lightweights.Though the early talk was that Drake was likely to focus on basketball and do it at MSU as a quick verbal, the recent developments have become more complicated. It's open secret that some close to Drake are very intrigued by the Hoke regime and are interested in him exploring his opportunities. Still, Drake is a confessed Michigan State fan since childhood and the Spartans are in an excellent position. A lot has already been written about his game because Drake was identified as a major prospect at an early age. He's been the overwhelming pick as the top in-state player in his class since people paid attention. It could be said that his rankings haven't exactly lived up to the hype but Drake had a good summer last year and UMHoops is already glowing about his new campaign. It appears likely that this player will stay in state with one of the two biggies. Whether he ends up a Spartan, Wolverine, or none of the above, whoever gets him will have the bonus of saving a basketball scholarship if Harris decides to play football as a freshman. (Intrpdtrvlr)
WHAT IT MEANS FOR THE CLASS(ES)
For football, it's way too early to tell. Michigan State took four wide receivers for the 2012 class and two for the 2013 class, so some attrition might occur. Stab in the dark -- Dantonio takes at least one more receiver, if not two.
As for Izzo, Harris has no effect on the class since he'll most likely be on a football scholarship. That means basketball gains a top-100 wing player, and still has plenty of spots (at least three as of today) for Tyus Jones, Cliff Alexander, Jahlil Okafor, JaQuan Lyle, and others.
ONE LAST THING
Harris's Dad Mike Harris said at the press conference that the Spartans were (and I'm paraphrasing) on track to land the #1 basketball player in the 2013 class, Jabari Parker. When asked how he knew, he replied:
"He hasn’t given me any leads or anything like that, but just around the AAU circuit, you hear people talking," Mike Harris said with a laugh. "It’s just talk. Just talk."
It's definitely not bad news, but it's inconclusive. Parker has kept his cards close to the vest closer than any other #1 prospect I can remember.
So welcome Drake to Michigan State. Get ready to get compared to Matt Trannon (you didn't think you were going to get through this article without at least one Matt Trannon mention, were you?) a lot, even though your styles of play are very different.