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Kansas State Football Recruiting: Introducing Jeremiah (Jay) Harris

Chris Klieman continues to raid the Lone Star State.

Hey, Texas. All your croots are belong to us.
Hey, Texas. All your croots are belong to us.
Photo by Rick Kern/Getty Images for Ford Motor Company

Jeremiah (Jay) Harris, a 247 composite 3-star (87) linebacker from Shadow Creek High School in Pearland, Texas, gave his verbal commitment to the Kansas State staff on June 7th.

Harris gave his verbal to K-State over 23 other listed offers, including Oklahoma State, Arkansas, Nebraska, and Missouri. Harris is the second Shadow Creek defender to verbally commit to the K-State 2020 recruiting class, joining DE/DT Ronald Triplette.

Harris was a selected as a first-team all district linebacker and helped the freshly minted Shadow Creek High School to a 15-1 record. The only blemish on the Shadow Creek record occurred in the Texas 5A Division II State Championship Game.

What Does Harris Bring to the Table?

Harris brings incredible burst and closing speed from the linebacker position. He shows the ability to read the play and attack at the right moment, shooting gaps and getting the ball carrier or quarterback on the ground.

In addition to his ability to get into the backfield at opportune moments, he is a sure tackler. I watch way too much high school football film and one common issue I see is tackling. Too many kids try and tackle high with their arms and end up being drug down the field or shrugged off by ball carries.

Harris doesn’t have that issue. He drops his butt, wraps up legs, and gets guys on the ground. He maintains solid balance when he is preparing to tackle and does the hitting instead of absorbing a hit from the ball carrier. He is fundamentally sound.

He plays inside linebacker in Shadow Creek’s 3-4 set up and is often freed up to rush the passer in the scheme. I’m not sure if he projects as a MIKE or a WILL linebacker in Wildcat defense. If he intends to play MIKE he will need to get his weight and strength up. He’s currently listed at 6’1, 205. That looks more like a safety than MIKE linebacker. His ability (or inability) to gain weight may dictate where he lines up in college.

Harris is currently the top rated verbally committed prospect in the Wildcat’s 2020 class and has a strong list of offers. He’s another guy that checks all the boxes in terms of athleticism and just needs to develop a little physically. This is a theme in the 2020 class, and I personally like rolling the dice on athletic upside.

How Does He Fit Into the 2020 Class?

As I mentioned above, according to the 247 composite, he’s the currently headliner of the class. The fact that the new staff can go into Texas and pull out an athlete like Harris should quell any questions about Klieman and company’s ability to go on the road in football hotbeds and beat out other Power 5 teams.

The Wildcats now have two linebackers in the 2020 class, with Harris joining fellow Texan DeMarrquese Hayes (I’ll have more on him later). Sometimes you can read the recruiting tea leaves to see what type of defense a coaching staff wants to put on the field, and I think that’s the case with Harris and Hayes. They are both smaller, but hyper athletic linebackers who do their best work chasing down quarterbacks and finding running backs.

I like smaller athletic linebackers as long as you can put bigger, physical defensive linemen in front of them to keep them clean. If guards can get off the line and find them on the second level it could spell trouble, but that’s something to worry about on another day, because everyone should be thrilled with the Harris pick up. It’s a huge recruiting win for the new defensive staff.

What’s Next?

K-State has given me plenty to write about recently with their early June run on verbal commitments. The 2020 class currently stands at 11 players and for what little it’s worth in June, ranks 3rd in the Big 12 and 29th nationally.

I’ll have a breakdown of DeMarrquese Hayes up soon.