Two-sport athlete Drake Harris (Grand Rapids, MI) held an announcement ceremony at Grand Rapids Christian High School on Wednesday evening and it came to a close rather quickly as the highly coveted class of 2014 recruit chose to continue his football and basketball careers with the Michigan State Spartans.
The standout combo guard, who is the nation's No. 46 overall basketball prospect according to Rivals.com and potentially the No. 1 wide receiver prospect in the state of Michigan, chose to play for the Spartans instead of their arch-rivals Michigan and Notre Dame.
Despite having well over a year until he can officially sign a national letter of intent Harris felt there was no need to delay his decision any longer when he already knew he wanted to become a member of the Michigan State family.
"I just didn't want to drag it out when I knew where I wanted to go," Harris told Allen Trieu of Scout.com shortly after he made his declaration. "It is in my heart that I want to go to Michigan State so I didn't want to hurt others by dragging it out."
Michigan State offered Harris a chance to play both basketball and football, but a big reason why the 6'4", 180-pound prospect chose the Spartans in the end was their history of having athletes shine on the gridiron and hardwood simultaneously.
The Spartans' new strength and conditioning coach Lorenzo Guess played football and basketball for Michigan State from 1997-2000.
"They've talked to me and they've had players play both before," Harris said. "A lot of players haven't had players play both, Michigan State has had that in their time. They talked to me. It will be a little bit tough but I think I can make the transition."
There were several other factors why Harris chose the Spartans and he went into detail about those after he made his verbal pledge as well.
"It's only 45 minutes away and both coaches, (Tom) Izzo and (Mark) Dantonio are going to be there for awhile. Their system fits me really good for football and basketball. I know Dantonio is going to throw the ball so I'm going to love playing for him and Izzo too. They're both great coaches."
Harris' commitment is important for Michigan State not just because of the incredible talent both coaching staffs are acquiring, but also because the Spartans managed to win a recruiting battle over Michigan's head coach Brady Hoke who has dominated Dantonio on the recruiting trail since taking over in 2011.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Harris is the first prospect to choose Michigan State while holding an active offer from Michigan since 2011 when Detroit Renaissance linebacker Lawrence Thomas chose the Spartans over the Wolverines.
Zach Dirlam is the Lead Editor of the College Basketball section as well as Big Ten columnist for the FOX Sports/MSN/YardBarker affiliate website Sports at Work. Check out his blog, Dirlam’s Dirty Dugout Sports Blog, which features this story, along with other articles and video reports on major sports.
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