Since May 1, Jalen Harris has seen a significant rise in his recruiting stock.
With impressive camp performances, the 6-foot-4, 238-pound tight end prospect from Montgomery has reeled in offers from Alabama, Auburn, LSU, Miami and Vanderbilt. The schools now make up his top five, which he released Sunday.
“It’s a blessing,” Harris told AL.com. “God has blessed me with talent and size, and I’m doing everything to glorify him. I’ve just been working real hard with some of my teammates. We’ll be outside for hours doing foot drills trying to get better. That’s helped me out at the camps, that’s how I got the in-state offers, they were impressed with how I’ve improved.
“I always thought I should be getting more (offers) and it’s finally paying off.”
Harris picked up his Alabama offer June 4 and his Auburn offer came during Saturday’s camp. He has been to the Plains multiple times and said he’s familiar with the offense.
Jalen Harris of St. James School during the Nike Football Training Camp in Hoover, Ala. (Tamika Moore/[email protected])
“It’s the same one we run at St. James,” Harris said. “I did some blocking drills, and Tyler Queen, their quarterback commit, came down and threw to me. He put it on the money every time and I caught each one.”
Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn pulled him aside later and extended the offer.
“(Malzahn) liked how patient I’ve been,” Harris said. “They do things a little differently at Auburn, but he was just saying how much I’ve improved. He said my head coach checked off on me and said I’ve been working hard enough to get the offer.”
Former Auburn tight end star Philip Lutzenkirchen has served as Harris’ position coach at St. James since the spring.
“He’s a good guy and he’s not too hard on me,” Harris said when asked about Lutzenkirchen. “We do drills at the school that have helped me a lot and we text every now and then. He was texting me while I was at the Auburn camp to run 10 extra yards and have a positive attitude. He’s not trying to pressure me to go to Auburn, he’s just happy for me.”
Vanderbilt figures to be a major factor with Harris since his former teammate, C.J. Duncan, signed with the Commodores in February.
“When C.J. was at St. James he was one of my best friends,” Harris said. “We always talk and have kept in touch. I’d love to play with him again. He’s a good leader and always makes sure everyone is on the right page.”
Harris doesn’t have any upcoming visits planned, but hopes to visit all five schools again before making his commitment. He is planning to pledge before his first game of the 2014 season.
“I’m still talking about it with my parents right now, but I just want to have a chance to play early. All five schools are great institutions — whoever i go, I can always get a good degree. The academic part is always first, but as far as football goes, I want a good relationship with my position coach and the rest of the staff.”
Harris is ranked as a three-star prospect and the nation’s No. 16 tight end in the 247Sports Composite. Watch his highlights at Hudl.