7 Reasons 5-Star RB Damien Harris Will Sign with Ohio State

Edwin WeathersbyAnalyst IApril 21, 2014

7 Reasons 5-Star RB Damien Harris Will Sign with Ohio State

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    Damien Harris is a 5-star running back from Kentucky who is one of the top offensive recruits in the country. At 5'11" and 205 pounds, Harris has great speed to pull away from defenders in the open field.

    The former Michigan commit is wanted by many programs from around the nation, but he has Ohio State as one of his top schools, according to Josh Helmholdt of Rivals (subscription required).

    The Buckeyes are an attractive option to Harris for several reasons. 


    All recruiting ratings and rankings are from 247Sports.
    Player evaluations are based on review of tape at Scout.comRivals and 247Sports.

Stan Drayton

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    Ohio State running backs coach Stan Drayton is one of the best in the business. Drayton is a skilled recruiter who is one of Harris' main recruiting contacts with the Buckeyes, per 247Sports.

    Drayton is a tireless recruiter who excels at building relationships with recruits and their families. In regards to Harris, it also helps that Drayton will be his position coach in Columbus. Drayton coached former Ohio State running back and NFL prospect Carlos Hyde, who rushed for 1,521 yards and 15 touchdowns in 2013, according to Sports-Reference.com

    Drayton has also coached running backs at Florida and Tennessee, and he was once an offensive assistant coach with the Green Bay Packers.

Chance to Dominate in the Big Ten

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    Harris could easily opt to stay home and play for Kentucky. He also could choose to become another great running back at Alabama.

    However, he would have to put his body through the taxing SEC for at least three seasons. The league is awfully physical and leaves many players beaten up when they leave for the NFL.

    Ohio State plays in the Big Ten, which is a conference Harris could be a star in due to his speed. The Big Ten isn't known for having defenses that are the fastest in the country, which means Harris could rack up some serious yardage with the Buckeyes.

Not Far from Home

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    A Kentucky native, Harris hails from the town of Berea. Ohio State resides in Columbus, which is just over three hours away via car, according to Bing.com.

    Signing with the Buckeyes would allow Harris' family to drive up to see him run on Saturdays. The comfort of knowing he isn't too far from home will be a big help for him as he transitions into college.


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    The combination of a large collection of supportive fans, excellent tradition, history of winning and terrific facilities that Ohio State offers makes it one of the premier programs in the country.

    These are factors Harris will have to take into account when he makes his final decision. When he does, the Buckeyes' infrastructure may be too tough to pass up.

Talent and Great Recruiting

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    All prospects want to join talented teams to increase their own chances of winning. Talent is assembled through recruiting great players. Ohio State clearly understands that.

    The Buckeyes finished with the No. 3 recruiting class in the country in 2014, No. 2 in 2013 and No. 5 in 2012. It's safe to say Harris would be surrounded by a lot of talent in Columbus.

Good Fit in Ohio State's Spread-Option Offense

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    Ohio State runs a spread-option offensive attack that does a good job of getting its playmakers the ball in space. 

    Harris' speed makes him a great fit for this scheme, as he would often be able to get the ball on the edge of the box. Harris would be able to turn the corner on defenses, which should provide a lot of highlight-worthy runs.

    Ohio State's offense would also utilize Harris' great ability to catch the ball out of the backfield.

Urban Meyer

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    Urban Meyer is 24-2 since taking over as head coach at Ohio State for the 2012 season. Meyer is a proven winner who won a pair of national championships at Florida.

    The Ohio native is among the all-time greatest recruiting head coaches, as he has signed some of the best classes this century. The chance to play for a winner and exceptional recruiter like Meyer will be awfully enticing for Harris.

    Marc Givler of BuckeyeGrove.com (subscription required) wrote on Feb. 17: "Harris said he got a comfortable vibe from Meyer and Drayton during his time on campus." 


    Edwin Weathersby is the College Football Recruiting Analyst for Bleacher Report. He has worked in scouting/player personnel departments for three professional football teams, including the New York Giants and Cleveland Browns.