Kelly Lambert-USA TODAY Sports
The Rebels picked up their fifth commitment for the 2014 class on Monday.
The 6'4" receiver is an important commitment for several reasons.
1. He's from Mississippi
Harris is the fourth Ole Miss commitment from the state of Mississippi. If Freeze's intention is to move towards getting six of the top eight MS players every year then cherry picking out of state, he's going to need to go through a few classes of bigger Mississippi ties. The staff needs to establish ties that aren't readily available with high schools around the state, and taking players from schools is a good way to build bridges that some previous coaches have burned down.
As for short term benefits, bringing in Mississippi prospects gets other prospects from within the state talking. I know, for instance, that Kailo Moore's commitment was viewed as a big deal by MS high school players and could reap benefits this year. As we saw in our previous class, players talk. They notice who goes where.
2. He's 6'3" and good
His video, which I can't embed but you can view here, is really good. He looks fast enough, but more than that, he's another in a line of big receivers with good hands that Freeze covets. It's obvious now that Freeze cares a lot more about consistency and size outside than he cares about elite speed (sorry Korvic). Harris leaps to get balls that are thrown high, positions himself well, and has a huge catch radius. He also appears to care about blocking, something that has made Donte Moncrief and Randall Mackey even more valuable under Hugh Freeze's spread run system which asks receivers to hold their blocks a bit longer to get backs outside from shotgun runs.
3. There are four D1 athletes on his high school team
Harris plays at Callaway in Jackson, MS. Ole Miss already has a commitment from one teammate, safety Rod Walker, and they hope to get two more from OG Rod Taylor (who projects as a top five guard nationally) and DE Breeland Speaks (expected to be a top ten player in the state). Callaway has already been good to the Rebels, with Aaron Morris and Justin Bell currently on the team. Adding four from the school would make the Rebels major players for any Jackson prospects in the immediate future (including 2015's likely future five-star RB/WR Malik Dear of Murrah). Freeze likes having "ins" with top prospects. Harris is one of those and is also quite good.