You might not want to say the name "Drake Harris" around any Spartan fans for a while. Not unless you hate them, anyway (and let's be honest, life is too short for hate). Harris was one of the cornerstones of the Michigan State 2014 recruiting class, a 4-star, two-sport athlete who had a future as MSU's point guard and/or MSU's top wideout. And yes, the fact that we're using the past tense here is not exactly a good sign.
Harris has now decommitted from Michigan State, which is bad enough.
Harris decommitted after visiting Michigan for three straight weeks (per AnnArbor.com), which is worse. And we won't even get into him singing "Hail to the Victors" after Michigan beat Michigan State.
Harris not only decommitted, he probably incinerated all the MSU bridges in the process. Because holy hell is this ever a thing a contender doesn't want to hear a decommit say on his way out (via the Lansing State-Journal):
"Since I'm just playing football now,” Harris told reporters after his regional basketball game Monday in Grand Rapids, “I want to play at a bigger school, win a national championship."
Harris, a football/basketball standout from Grand Rapids Christian, told the Free Press in January that he was still committed to MSU but was no longer considering playing college basketball. He planned to visit other schools, including U-M and Ohio State.
"A bigger school." Woof.
Michigan State can point to its recent dominance over Michigan (2012 being the lone exception since the Lloyd Carr era). It can point to its appearance in a Big Ten Championship game, something Michigan and Ohio State don't have on their resumes yet. It can point to all the players it's putting in the NFL.
Harris doesn't care. Nor should he.
If we're taking odds on who's going to compete for a national championship in the Big Ten over the next few years, how much more likely would you say Michigan is than Michigan State? Five times more likely? Ten? Michigan State is good and it'll be back to competing for a January bowl in 2013, but let's not pretend the ceiling's much higher than that on the Spartan program.
Yes, Michigan State had some solid years in 2010 and 2011. But the Big Ten is full of programs that strung together a couple nice seasons and thought everything was on the rise, only to backslide into mediocrity and recruit its way out of the Top 25 shortly thereafter. Michigan State is following that road map quite nicely. Northwestern, you're next.
But man, did Harris really have to say "bigger?" All the decades of the "little brother" history and identity that Michigan State's tried to bury in the past over the last few years has now come rushing forth once again, and if it stings it's because it's right. Michigan draws fans like a bigger deal. It recruits like a bigger deal. It gets ratings like a bigger deal. It is a bigger deal. The facts are salt in the wound.
So, y'know, bummer for Michigan State that Harris figured that out, but just because you don't like it doesn't mean it's not true.