The five decommitments littered throughout the 2013 recruiting class for the Texas Longhorns left a bitter taste in the mouth of many fans, but three late commitments helped change the narrative somewhat. Of those three, the most important by far was that of Contra Costa CC offensive tackle Desmond Harrison, a massive and massively athletic prospect who is widely expected to see the field early for the Longhorns, most likely as a starter.
The fact that Harrison spent some time in Texas growing up was a major factor in his decision, which included the options to play at a host of top schools, including Arkansas, Oklahoma, USC, Cal, and Ole Miss. Not convinced that he can play early yet? He was ranked as the top JUCO offensive tackle in the country by 247Sports and the word from the staff is that they adamantly believe in his ability to contribute right away, a quality that not many prospects in the 2013 class possess, in large part because of the depth provided by the last two classes.
BON special contributor Evan Massey spoke with Harrison on Saturday.
Q: What made you sign with the Longhorns? How did your connections with Texas influence your decision?
A. The tradition at UT is big on football, and I got to see that coming up. Having the opportunity to play for Mack Brown, and my position coach Stacy Searels had a big deal with me coming in because of their experience in coaching and plan to put me in a good situation. The connection with Coach Bo Davis had a big impact as well. The offensive scheme was big as well. UT pulls their tackles just as well as I did at my JUCO and there are a lot of similarities throughout our offenses.
Q. What are you doing to prepare for the upcoming season?
A. Getting stronger and smarter.
Q. How do you feel about your chacnes to get on the field this season?
A. I feel good. I'm coming in to play.
Q. For those unfamiliar with your game, what can we expect to see from you on the field?
A. I play fast, physical, and finish my blocks.
Q. At what age did you begin playing football? When did you realize that you had this kind of talent?
A. I began playing football at age 4, and I always knew I was a big football talent, but I just wasn't showing it. Moving to North Carolina I wasn't playing football, and my senior year I took that and got back to my football dream. My senior year playing DE I was offered by Auburn, but didn't qualify. I never really knew how good I was, I just really worked my butt off.
Q. Who has made the biggest impact on your career to help get you to this point?
A. Coach Otis Telverton and Coach Thomas Byrd. I can honestly say they have developed my game and made me a lot smarter. So they would be the biggest impact.
Q. What kinds of things do you enjoy doing in your free time? What's your favorite food?
A. I like to play basketball, chill with my friends, play Madden, NCAA, Call of Duty, and party. Favorite food will be hard since I like a lot of food, but since I've been in California, I can almost always go for a burrito.
Q. What do you like the most about Stacy Searels?
A. That he played the game and knows it well, and teaches it well also. It's not just about football with Coach Searels.
Q. What would you tell a young player with dreams of playing D1 football to do?
A. I would tell them to go to as many camps as they can and in the summer time put in work instead of vacation. I'd tell them to separate themselves early and have your mindset on what you're going to do. Also to take the SAT or ACT in 10th-12th grade so it's not the final say so in signing, and always keep God first.