Rather than make his college choice during or after the upcoming 2018 high school football season, Jack Harris opted to go ahead and commit to the school he grew up cheering for—Mississippi State. The incoming senior and defensive lineman from Oak Grove announced this past weekend his pledge to the Bulldogs and first-year head coach Joe Moorhead.
“I wanted to represent Mississippi and for my parents to be able to come watch me play,” Harris said. “Over the past three years, I just really made some connections with the coaching staff up there. I really like it up there, and I got a sister up there.”
Harris added that his late grandfather, Bubba Harris, who passed away about a year ago, played a role in his decision, too.
“That’s where he went to school. I just really wanted to go and for him to look down on me playing there. It would be something special.”
A dozen schools, including Southern Miss, helped make up Harris’ offer sheet at the time of his decision. Harris, who is ranked by 247 Sports as a 3-star recruit and the 26th best player in Mississippi’s 2019 class, says now was the perfect time to commit.
“I wanted to just chill this summer and have my decision made. I didn’t want to have to worry about going to camps and all that kind of stuff. It’s a lot of weight off my shoulders now.”
As a junior last season, Harris racked up 101 total tackles, including 20 for loss, and 12 quarterback sacks primarily as a defensive end. He’s not limited though, according to Oak Grove head coach Drew Causey.
“He [Harris] is a guy that you can play in multiple spots,” Causey said. “He can play defensive end. He can play linebacker. He can play somewhere on offense if he had to. I think he kind of fits wherever he needs to fit. Any school he chooses, I think he’ll fit in.
“I think the sky’s the limit for him. He’s only going to get better.”
Harris should be just the latest Oak Grove defender heading to the Division I level. He’s following in the footsteps of Jaden Crumedy and Hayes Maples, who will be freshmen this fall at Mississippi State and Southern Miss, respectively.
“I’ve learned a lot from those guys,” Harris said. “They just showed me how to work hard. Hayes, he’s probably got the best work ethic I’ve ever seen from somebody.”