It’s rare that BYU recruits against the ACC for basketball talent.
Not only did the Cougars compete this time around, they beat out two ACC schools for the services of 6'5", 190 lb combo guard DeMarcus Harrison from Greenwood, South Carolina.
Harrison, who plays at Christ School, a preparatory academy in Arden, North Carolina, verbally committed to BYU on this week over Clemson, Florida State, Wisconsin and Marquette to name a few schools.
What DeMarcus brings to BYU is a level of athleticism rarely seen in Provo.
He is listed as an ESPN Top 100 player and one of the top shooting guards in the country. While many see him playing the two at the next level, some may be surprised by his point guard skills when he arrives in Provo.
Harrison will arrive next year just as the Cougars lose Jackson Emery and All-America and National Player-of-the-Year candidate Jimmer Fredette from the guard line.
His commitment also alleviates some of the sting of losing point guard recruit Brett Kingma from the state of Washington. Kingma recently committed to Oregon over BYU.
ESPN recruiting analyst Reggie Rankin was impressed with Harrison’s ability this summer at the AAU National Championships.
Of DeMarcus, Rankin remarked on ESPN.com, “This strong and athletic wing excelled on the break. He scored in traffic on a consistent basis, drove the lane with power, slashed and knocked down the open three in the half court en route to his 20 points. Harrison also hit the boards on the defensive end. Harrison played a good all-around floor game and was very productive. Harrison is being recruited by Clemson and BYU, among others.”
Harrison’s U17 AAU squad, the South Carolina Ravens, finished as the Division I runners up at the AAU National Championships in August.
Following the news of his commitment yesterday, ESPN recruiting coordinator Mike LaPlante was reported as saying that DeMarcus will help BYU immediately.
“BYU locked up an important commitment for the future of their program,” says LaPlante. “DeMarcus is a great pick-up for the Cougars as he gives them a skilled athlete with size that can shoot the ball with range. He’s a versatile defender that can guard multiple positions and should be able to find his way into the rotation immediately,” LaPlante added.
He is expected to team with with 2010 incoming freshman Anson Winder and current junior swingman Charles Abuou on the guard line in 2011.
Harrison will graduate this spring from Christ School, a program that has produced nine Division 1 college basketball players in the last three years, including current Duke players Mason and Miles Plumblee.
DeMarcus is LDS but reportedly has not decided if he will serve a mission at this point. Here is video of DeMarcus in action for anyone who has not seen him: