Harris returns to Tuscaloosa

Harris returns to Tuscaloosa

When Jalen Harris earned a scholarship offer from the University of Alabama 10 days ago, he called it a "game changer." Even though he added two other offers in the week since, he and his family returned to Tuscaloosa for an overnight stay Thursday.

Arguably the hottest SEC recruit over the last two weeks, Jalen Harris has added offers from three conference representatives after emerging at several camps since the summer camp circuit kicked off.

He did so for multiple days at Alabama, picking up what he called a "game changer" offer on June 3, followed by earning extensions at LSU and Vanderbilt over the 10 days he has been on college campuses.

But on Thursday, he and his parents returned to Tuscaloosa for a second visit within the window, representing his father's first visit there, the same day the Crimson Tide missed out on tight end Jackson Harris' commitment.

"It was mainly to get my dad on campus, to get him familiar with the coaches," Harris said of the visit. "I was up at Vanderbilt, so we were passing through anyways. He liked everything, the facilities are top of the line, it's just going to impress anyone their first time there. He enjoyed everything.

"He had a good time talking with the coaches and O.J. Howard hung out the whole time."

The sophomore tight end wasn't the only current player Harris and his family spent time with while in town.

"We hung out with Shaun Hamilton, David Cornwell, Cooper Bateman last night, I was also with (four-star 2015 prospect) Blake Barnett, the quarterback from California, we all had a good time," he said. "Especially with O.J. He's just a cool guy, I like him a lot. He's going to be real good this season.

"He really wasn't recruiting me; he answered any questions I had about Alabama or in general. We were just having fun. "

When the three-star Montgomery (Ala.) St. James tight end wasn't with the players, it was a different story. Nick Saban and company have been making a push for his services.

"Ever since they offered me, after I came back, they've been telling me how much I've improved since last year," Harris said. "They're on me a lot harder. Coach [Bobby] Williams is a real good coach, a real good guy, they're pushing me a little bit – but it's just a friendly conversation. They'd love for me to play for them.

"When we talked to Coach [Nick] Saban, I told him I was going to make a decision in August, he told me they are already near 20 commits and they're taking 25. So if I have to -- if Alabama is where I decide to go -- I might do it earlier but for now it's August like I've planned."

If the 6-foot-5, 236-pounder determines that waiting is his best option, though wanting to make a decision before the 2014 season begins, he will select out of a group of programs among the SEC and perhaps beyond.

"I'm going to make my top five after I leave Auburn tomorrow, I'll be camping there since they've been on me a lot harder, too," he said. "After that, I'll probably make a top three, four or five after I talk to my parents about it. It's safe to say ‘Bama will be in there.

"They're an in-state school, anyone would love to play for Alabama, it's a blessing. It's the Tide; they always prove year-in, year-out, that they're one of the best teams."

Harris is considered the top class of 2015 tight end in the state of Alabama on Scout.


Discuss Harris' visit, what it could mean for Alabama going forward and much more within the premium member forum HERE.

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