This weekend, everyone, and I mean everyone, will finally find out where the best football recruit in the 2017 college football recruiting class will spend his next 3-5 years. That man, is Najee Harris. If you’re reading this website, I think you’ve heard of him. He’s arguably the best running back recruit last decade and will make an immediate impact where ever he lands. But, that’s the million dollar question right now.
Where will Najee Harris play his college ball?
I’ve let it be known on multiple occasions that I believe Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan coaching/recruiting staff will pull off the unthinkable and Harris will board a flight to Detroit after the Army All-American game this weekend and enroll at Michigan. That’s coming from talking with multiple sources and reading the long list of tea leaves that are both out there in public and things behind the scenes.
Some of the tea leaves include the logical thinking of, if Harris were going to Alabama, why would he (someone who clearly doesn’t like the national attention) string Michigan along this entire time and not just kill all the rumors by saying he’s sticking with his longtime commitment to Bama?
There’s also the opportunity that Harris could be a “legend” at Michigan, while just another name on the list at Alabama.
His brother, who had been questioned as being a fake account, tweeted that the chance to be that legend at UM is why he wants him to head to Ann Arbor. Then again, this looks to be 1000% Najee’s decision and, according to previous reports, he doesn’t mind being a part of a talented stable.
On top of those thought provoking tea leaves, there’s all of the positivity coming out of Michigan’s other top recruiting analysts as well as national recruiting analysts. That includes the likes of Wolverine247’s Steve Lorenz, The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown and TMI’s Sam Webb.
Here’s the latest news and rumors out there regarding Harris and his eventual landing spot:
Lorenz spoke with Harris when he first arrived at the Army All-American game and didn’t seem to give Alabama fans a lot to feel good about as he didn’t exactly beam with pride when asked about his commitment status ($).
Then Sam Webb came out and dropped some pretty huge news, mentioning that with the latest news he’s heard about Harris, he’s now projecting him to the class ($):
Now my gut tells me there is a similar dynamic at play for Harris. My gut tells me that the groundwork for him to start at Michigan next week has been completed if that’s what he wants to do. I’m adding him to my best guess list now and I’m projecting him to be a part of the class. At this point I’ve seen and heard enough to convince me that he is either giving both Michigan and Alabama the same reasons to be confident they’re getting him, or he’s going to Michigan.
Now, this wasn’t one of Webb’s famous “gut feelings” but he’s also hearing more than enough to confidently predict him to be a member of Michigan’s recruiting class.
After the full day of practices in San Antonio, Lorenz was back with a recap and some more positive feelings about Harris showing up after the weekend from Michigan’s side of things ($). He also saw the five star talent on the field and saw what takes Harris’ game to a whole other level:
Game-wise, the one thing about Harris that actually stood out to me was his ability to catch the football out of the backfield. His ability to run the ball is well-known, but he made some great catches during some drills this afternoon and made it look really easy. He’s a complete back in more ways than one.
That ability to catch the ball out of the backfield and lined up outside is why I believe he’s not only the best back in this class but also the best since Adrian Peterson.
And similar to Peterson, Harris will make his decision at the Army All-American game. But unlike Peterson, Harris won’t be doing it on national television, like AP.
5-star RB Najee Harris: he will not make a decision public. He’s ducking out after Army Bowl, and will just show up at a school.
— Brandon Justice (@LandOfJustice) January 3, 2017
This is a pretty bad ass move on Harris’ part, in my opinion. Guy is one of the best overall recruits in the last decade and he doesn’t care about the fanfare at all. While I’m a fan of the big announcements, it’s cool to see a guy go about it as an everyday student. This move also has myself and Inside the Huddle’s host Michael Spath feeling even better about Michigan’s chances:
If this is indeed the case, then the little piece of inside scoop I was told today makes me think it’s Michigan. https://t.co/bEYrZgIL6h
— Michael Spath (@MichaelSpathITH) January 3, 2017
Wolverine247’s Isaiah Hole also joined in on the fun as the confidence level of his sources inside the program are at “an all-time high” ($). But, like everything in recruiting, he mentions that this isn’t a done deal until he’s on campus on Monday.
Najee Harris swing route pic.twitter.com/YUX8E5hWpF
— Trey Scott (@TreyScott247) January 3, 2017
And then there’s The Wolverine’s Brandon Brown’s latest update from a source behind the scenes at the Army game practices ($). Mentioning that Alabama quarterback commit, Tua Tagovailoa, has been stuck like glue to Harris the entire time. And it may not be going as planned.
But that’s not what Tagovailoa believes as he spoke with BamaOnline’s Hank South about his relationship with Harris and where he thinks he’ll end up ($):
I’m always going to stand with him going to Alabama,” Tagovailoa said. “He says Michigan and these other schools are good, but he still hasn’t made a commitment to go to that. I still think he’s going to stay with Alabama, but we’ll see.”
South also added in the comments that he believes Harris will be sticking with Alabama, citing the lack of Crystal Ball predictions for Michigan as a sign of a lack of confidence. But it looks like they’re starting to trickle in now.
(I’ve mentioned before that I won’t be putting in a CB for Harris. I’ll discuss the reason why after this is all said and done.)
If you’re looking for some more positive vibes and news, Sam Webb put out another detailed blog post about the latest news, including Tagovailoa’s comments, Harris filing the necessary paperwork to enroll at both Bama and UM, and why he is still confident in his prediction of Harris choosing Michigan ($).
Though, like has been said 1000 times, he mentions that nothing is a done deal just yet.
Add in LandOf10’s Brandon Justice making his prediction for Harris to choose Michigan and it looks like a good amount of the UM recruiting analysts as well as some national analysts believe Jim Harbaugh’s going to pull off, for the first ever, signing the #1 overall college football recruits in back-to-back classes.
But, like Tagavailoa said, “we’ll see”.
So, with his decision coming this weekend, where do you think Najee Harris will fly to and enroll at after the Army All-American Game? Let us know in the comment section below!
Photo Credit: Michael Macor, The Chronicle