Drake Harris is still committed to Michigan State, but he is no longer going to play college basketball and is planning to visit other schools, beginning with Ohio State.
While MSU basketball coach Tom Izzo may never have the opportunity to coach Harris, MSU football coach Mark Dantonio told the Grand Rapids Christian junior sensation that he isn’t giving up without a fight.
“He was great with it,” Harris told the Free Press tonight. “He told me they wanted me and they were going to recruit me even harder now and that they’re always going to be here. He told me I should go take visits so I know for sure where I want to go.”
Harris told both MSU coaches of his decision Tuesday night and deciding not to play basketball changed the dynamics of his original commitment.
“I’m not going to play basketball in college,” he said. “I’m just playing football, and Izzo was OK with it and everything. I told Dantonio that I wanted to open my recruiting back up to look at some other schools, too.
“The reason why I committed to Michigan State was to play basketball also, so I want to open it up and look at some of the bigger football schools to give it an equal chance.”
The 6-foot-4, 180-pound Harris, ranked the country’s No..1 receiver in the class of 2014 by recruiting guru Tom Lemming this week, committed to MSU last summer.
Harris first gained notoriety as a basketball prospect before his record-setting junior football season, in which he set the state record for receiving yards in a season (2,016). He became only the 12th receiver in the country to ever eclipse the 2,000-yard mark.
The decision not to play basketball had Harris reevaluating his options. After the championship football game, in which he caught eight passes for a finals record 243 yards, he said Alabama was still calling him, even though he was committed to MSU.
Recently, Ohio State coach Urban Meyer was at Christian and offered Harris a scholarship.
Harris said in addition to MSU he is considering Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame, Florida, Alabama, Florida State and Georgia. He said he will narrow the schools down to the five schools he will visit.
“I’m planning on probably visiting Ohio State soon,” he said, “and going down to Florida next month and Florida State.”
The decision not to attempt to play two sports in college stemmed from his record-setting football season.
“After last year, my sophomore season, I was kind of wavering toward football, but then in the summertime I had a pretty good summer for basketball,” Harris said. “That’s why I kind of committed to Michigan State in the first place. Then this year it all blew up. I hard a great season and I just enjoy playing football more. And I feel like I have a better opportunity to have more success in football.”
Grand Rapids Christian football coach Don Fellows said he supports Harris’ decision to look at other schools.
“He wants to kind of look at a couple of the schools, and Michigan State has granted him to do that,” Fellows said. “They understand where he’s at. I think a lot of people are making a bigger deal than what it really is. That’s kind of a scenario we’re looking at.
“The kid wanted to play two sports. He’s lost his passion for basketball. The kid deserves the right to look at — if he’s just going to play football — what’s the best fit for him.”
Harris is considered a four-star prospect in both sports, according to rivals.com. He is a junior this season, meaning he won’t get to college until the fall of 2014.
He was the Spartans’ lone committed 2014 basketball recruit and remains one of three for football.
Notes: Izzo will be honored April 15 in Oklahoma City with the Wayman Tisdale Humanitarian Award, which goes to a college basketball figure who “has made a significant positive impact on society.” … MSU is partnering with StubHub as its official secondary ticket marketplace, according to investors.com. “StubHub will complement our existing internal ticketing platforms and provide a safe, convenient and reliable solution for Spartan fans looking to buy or sell tickets on the secondary market,” athletic director Mark Hollis said in a released statement. “Our decision to select StubHub as MSU’s official fan-to-fan ticket marketplace provides Spartan fans the opportunity to work with the industry leader in the secondary ticket market.”
Detroit Free Press staff contributed.