Recruiting Blitz, 1/15/13

– 2014 S/WR Michael Johnson (6’3, 185, 4.49/40) of Champagnat Catholic visited the University of Miami for Junior Day last weekend. His head coach, Mike Tunsil,  also visited UM with Johnson. Coach Tunsil gave Deep South Recruiting some details regarding the visit. “We split up into offense/defense, and we went with Paul Williams. We went upstairs, watched some film and got to know everyone better,” Coach Tunsil said. “Michael loved everything about Miami. We know they want two safeties next year, so he definitely liked that. He’s high on their board and a player they want. Coach Williams wants more film and they want Michael to camp in June. Being there for the first Junior Day is a good sign because there were high priority prospects in attendance.”

Tunsil shared his opinion on the current Hurricanes staff. “I like what they’re doing. People have to realize they’re recruiting under the cloud of the NCAA, considering that I feel like they’re recruiting well. I like Coach Al Golden, he’s an honest man, and when they clear that hurdle, Miami will become Miami again under his leadership.”

– 2014 RB/SS TJ Harrell (6’1, 210, 4.48/40) of Tampa Catholic continues to see his list of impressive offers grow. This afternoon, he received his 17th from FSU. He also owns verbal offers from Mississippi St., Georgia, Florida, UCLA, Purdue, USF and UCF to name a few.

“I’m expecting my next two offers to come from Indiana and San Diego St.,” Harrell told Deep South Recruiting. “I met UF head coach Will Muschamp yesterday, he said he wants to see my face around campus more. I’ve visited UCF, USF, and Florida, but I’m still wide open, no frontrunners yet. It’s going to be a difficult decision, because not only do I have to pick a position, but a program that wants me at that position.” Georgia has offered him as a RB and multiple others like him at safety. There may be opportunities at certain programs for Harrell to play both ways.

Harrell also mentioned the Tampa Catholic staff expects college coaches by the dozens in the spring to scout him and teammate 2014 OL Corey Martinez (6’4, 290) and a multitude of underclassmen. TJ Harrell Junior Film

– 2014 RB Joseph Ledet (6’0, 208, 4.49/40) of South Beauregard HS in Louisiana is receiving interest from programs all across the country. He’s heard from Duke, Mississippi St., LSU, and ULL most recently. “I spoke to a coach from Duke, and they’re ready for me to visit, so I’m beginning the process of setting that up.”

In the last few weeks, Ledet has emerged as a prospect that will command serious attention from college recruiters. “I’ve been selected to the Louisiana Bootleggers 7-on-7 team. Guys like Trey Quinn and Jacory Washington are on the team, so playing with top prospects like them is a tremendous honor. I’ve also been selected to the NUC100 Combine and I’ll play for Team USA next month.”

South Beaugard’s senior-to-be bears watching and is a prospect on the rise. Here’s his junior film: Joseph Ledet Highlights

– 2013 CB Barry Higdon (6’3, 185, 4.4/40) of Chaminade Madonna has verbally committed to Hawaii. Higdon visited Honolulu last weekend and that put the Warriors over the top. “It’s paradise. I love the atmosphere and the location. The people are awesome, the coaching staff is great, and the fact that they were on me throughout the process told me they really wanted me to be a Warrior. Head coach Norm Chow is a great coach and I can’t wait to play for him. We spoke a lot during my visit, and I think Hawaii is the best place for me to be.”

Higdon talked about his chances of playing early. “Coach Chow said if I come in, work hard, there’s a good chance I’ll play right away. He told me come in with the mindset to work hard, learn the system quickly.”

One of his goals as a freshman at Hawaii is to step on the field early. “I want to contribute right away, and I eventually want to bring Hawaii their first Jim Thorpe Award.”

– 2014 QB Alin Edouard (6’2, 185, 4.49/40) of Hialeah HS is getting interest from Cincinnati, Boston College, and Louisville, among others.

He recently attended the Under Armour Combine. “It was awesome, I had a really good time. Getting coaching from former NFL quarterbacks was exciting,” he said. “I felt I performed at a high level, that I stood out. We worked on taking the snap from center, my drops, my touch and accuracy when I throw the ball, and reading defenses.”

Named 2nd Team All-Dade by the Miami Herald, Edouard will compete for a spot on the Florida Fire 7-on-7 team February 2nd. “We have tryouts coming up, so I’m getting ready for that. We’ll also travel to visit schools unofficially again this summer like we did last summer. We’ll go to Ole Miss, South Carolina, FSU, Memphis, and hopefully Oregon.” Although he plans on camping at Miami this summer, Edouard reports no contact recently from UM. Alin Edouard Junior Film

– Michael Bradley

2014 OLB/SS/RB TJ Harrell Talks Recruiting

Harrell has been invited to the US Army All-American Combine

TJ Harrell Junior highlights

2014 OLB/SS/RB TJ Harrell (6’0, 203, 4.6) of Tampa Catholic in Florida has seen his recruitment hit new highs. He claims 11 verbal offers, including Georgia, Florida, FAU, FIU,  UCF, Michigan St.Purdue, and UCLA. Monday evening, he received big news: he got word that he would be invited to the US Army All-American combine to compete with the nation’s best prospects.

Harrell has 425 yards rushing and eight scores, and 50 tackles, three forced fumbles, four sacks, and three blocked punts on defense and special teams.

Central Florida is the latest to offer Tampa Catholic’s versatile young athlete. Despite the 11 offers, Harrell says he doesn’t have any favorites. “Not yet, I’m still taking visits. I’ve been to see Florida, Miami, UCF, and USF. I’m looking forward to seeing Georgia, UCLA, and Michigan St. after the season is over.”

Harrell talked about the programs he has been able to see recently. “I went to Miami this summer after I visited FAU and FIU. I was impressed with the campus in Coral Gables, to be honest. Miami is making additions to their campus, and we saw what it will all look like when they’re done. It’s going to be nice,” he said. “I also got to see the track facilities, speak to the coaches, it was an awesome visit.”

UCF hosted Harrell last weekend and he shared his experience with Deep South Recruiting. “They won a double-overtime game over Southern Miss, 38-31. It was a crazy atmosphere. I was impressed with their facilities, too.”

South Florida has also brought in the talented prospect for an unofficial visit. “I really liked Raymond James Stadium, especially the surface. USF plays a lot of TV games, plays in front of national audiences. I like that.”

Harrell has been invited by the Gators staff to attend the Florida/South Carolina game. “I expect it to be a crazy game. It’s a great matchup, looking forward to seeing it.”

Tampa Catholic is 6-1 on the season and is gearing up for a trip to the playoffs. “We have Alonso and Jesuit left. We’ll have to see what seed we get and see how the rest of the season shakes out,” Harrell said. “If we stay in this mindset we’re in, I absolutely think we can win a state championship. We have what it takes.”

– Michael Bradley

2014 Tampa Catholic ATH Offered by Florida, Georgia

2012 TJ Harrell Highlights

2014 ATH TJ Harrell (6’1, 200, 4.6/40) of Tampa Catholic in Florida has been offered by Florida and most recently Georgia. They join South Alabama, FAU, FIU, Houston, and UCLA. He’s also being recruited by Miami, Michigan St., Auburn, Mississippi St., Vanderbilt, and Ole Miss among numerous others. “Coach Bryan McClendon, Georgia’s running back coach, told me he liked my most recent film, he saw that I was a bigger guy and that I run track, am a guy that can make plays from the backfield.”

Harrell told Deep South Recruiting that he’s being recruited for three different positions. “Georgia offered me as a running back, UCLA wants me as an outside linebacker, and Florida wants me as a hybrid safety/outside linebacker,” he said. “I think I have a better chance to have a professional career as a defender, but I have some time to make that choice.”

Tampa Catholic’s talented athlete says he already has unofficial visits planned. “I’m thinking about making a trip to Michigan St. and I plan on going to the Florida-LSU game (Gainesville). That’s all I’m working on at this point.”

He doesn’t have any frontrunners currently. “I’m keeping my options open and I don’t have any favorites right now.”

Harrell said that playing football close to home won’t be factored into his final decision. “It doesn’t matter, whatever I feel is best for me is what I’ll do. I’ll talk to my family, we’ll decide on the quality of the academics and football program, and make the best decision we feel is best.”

He has a 3.0 GPA and is deciding between majoring in psychology and sports medicine.

Harrell feels he’s performed well so far this season. “I have five total touchdowns, blocked three punts, three sacks, three tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles,” he said. “I feel like I’m getting better, but I feel I have room for improvement in every aspect of my game.”

– Michael Bradley

*Editor’s note: TJ was offered by Purdue today

2014 SS/OLB/RB TJ Harrell, Tampa Catholic HS, Florida

2014 SS/OLB/RB TJ Harrell (6’0, 203, 4.67/40) of Tampa Catholic HS claims a verbal offer from South Alabama. He hears frequently from UCLA, Michigan St., Indiana, Miami, Florida, and Vanderbilt among others. He will see action on both sides of the ball this season. “I played some running back in the spring game. I rushed for 152 yards, broke a 68-yard touchdown run. I expect to start there this fall.”

Harrell also excels in track, running the 100 and 200M, and high jumps. “I ran 10.72 in the 100M, a 22.2 in the 200M, and I high jumped six feet, two inches.”

Later this summer, he will attend the HSPD 7-on-7 in Indianapolis.

Tampa Catholic’s talented athlete feels he has multiple strengths on the football field. “My speed and technique are my best attributes,” he said. “I feel like if I can perfect my technique and dominate my opponent with it, I’ll throw him off guard. I like to use different moves and techniques to confuse my opponents.”

Harrell said he’s working on improving his leadership skills. “I want to take a greater leadership role. I feel like I have to step up and be able to put the team on my back better than I did last season.”

The prospect of early playing time will influence his college choice. “I plan on competing for a starting job right away. I’ll learn the defense as fast as possible, continue to work on getting stronger and faster, and acclimate myself to the college game so I can play as a freshman.”

Harrell told Deep South Recruiting that relationships and a comfortable, family atmosphere will be important when making his decision. “The player/coach relationship is important. He teaches, I learn. He gives advice, I take it. I’ll be learning as much as I can from him, so trust will be important as well,” he said. “I’m also looking for a team and family atmosphere. I want to see how the players and coaches get along, how they treat each other.”

Academics will play a major role in his recruitment. “I have a 2.9 GPA right now, but I’m working to bring that up. I want to major in psychology or sports medicine.”

Harrell would prefer to play his college football out of state. “I want to leave Florida, actually. I want to leave home and see what else is out there for me.”

– Michael Bradley