Despite the NCAA situation maintaining it's hazy state, Hugh Freeze and Co. are still crootin at a high level. Three-star defensive back A.J. Harris became the second prospect of the day to join the 2017 class, verbally committing to Ole Miss on Sunday afternoon.
I'm coming home pic.twitter.com/PoCoVD93Dq— AJ Harris (@aharris59) July 24, 2016
That came shortly after JUCO athlete Jay Johnson committed.
Harris, the No. 26 player in the state of Alabama and the No. 36 safety in the country, planned to make the trip to Oxford for their summer camp over the weekend but was unable to attend. Obviously, that didn't deter him from making the call to join the Rebs' 2017 class as the 12th commit. He hasn't received offers from in-state powers Alabama or Auburn, but Harris' offer sheet is impressive nonetheless: Duke, Florida State, Louisville, Michigan, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Tennessee and Vanderbilt.
As a junior at Bob Jones High School in Madison, Ala., Harris had 58 tackles, seven interceptions and 20 pass breakups, and was named Class 7A first-team all-state.
How does he fit in?
The Rebels' secondary is beginning to get a bit crowded but as we have mentioned before, depth and competition are two good problems to have. In 2016, the Rebs signed Deontay Anderson and Greg Eisworth and already have Montrell Custis, C.J. Hampton, Myles Hartsfield, Jaylon Jones and Armani Linton on the roster. Harris could benefit from a year in the weight room and being under the tutelage of Jason Jones and the veteran players already on campus.
The 6'0, 190-pound safety prospect reminds me a lot of former Rebel and current New Orleans Saint Trae Elston because of his size, length and play-making ability when the ball is in the air. A.J. was clocked as fast as 4.38 at an Auburn camp earlier this year and utilizes his speed to be a sideline-to-sideline safety at the second and third level. If he continues to grow, he could develop into a legitimate candidate to take over the Husky position after Tony Conner graduates. Or he could stay at the third level and play centerfield as a safety or slide over to man an island of his own as a cornerback.