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Damien Harris Commits to Michigan: Wolverines Land Stud 2015 RB

Photo Credit: 247Sports
Photo Credit: 247Sports
Brian LeighFeatured ColumnistJanuary 19, 2017

Brady Hoke's successful tour through the 2015 recruiting class continued on Monday, as Michigan secured a commitment from 4-star running back Damien Harris.

Per Alan Trieu of Scout.com:

Harris, a 5'11", 205-pound speedster from Berea, Kentucky, chose the Wolverines over the in-state Wildcats, eschewing the allure of SEC football for a chance to play in the Big House. He's the No. 45 overall player and No. 4 running back in 247Sports' class of 2015 composite.

His commitment comes just days after that of George Campbell, a 5-star receiver who pledged himself to Michigan on July 27, the weekend of the Wolverines' recruiting barbecue.

Now with four 2015 prospects committed, Michigan ranks fifth in 247Sports' team rankings.

The Harris commitment also serves as tonic for the burn of Leonard Fournette's no-show in Ann Arbor this weekend. The No. 1 prospect in the class of 2014, per ESPN, Fournette (who has drawn comparisons to Adrian Peterson) skipped out on the recruiting barbecue without offering an excuse.

Even without Fournette, though, Michigan's future at running back is now the envy of most FBS schools. Incoming freshman Derrick Green was the No. 4 running back in the 247Sports' class of 2013, giving Michigan two legitimate blue-chippers in three years. Better yet, they're staggered by two classes, so even if Green blossoms and leaves early for the NFL, Harris will still be around to pick up the slack.

Only Florida—and, depending on how you classify ATH Derrick Henry, Alabama—can also claim to have two top-five running backs in the 2013-2015 classes, putting Michigan among the nation's elite in that category. It also puts them well ahead of archrivals Ohio State and Michigan State, neither of whom has a top-40 back from the class of 2013 nor a top-20 back from the class of 2014.

Harris is a solid blend of size and speed, small enough to be shifty but compact enough to break tackles. The latter will need to improve at the next level, but he still has time to grow into his body.

And with elite-level field vision to go with those burners, he should be able to rip off long runs even despite sub-elite power.

 

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