Hamilton Southeastern’s Gary Harris: A two-sport star

It’s not as crazy as it seems. Yes, Gary Harris is an elite basketball recruit, particularly after what has been a successful and massively impressive summer. But there’s value, he said, in finding his escape from the hectic universe of basketball recruiting — it comes with pads and a helmet.

“(It’s) just another way for you to compete,” Harris said. “It’s fun.”

Harris, one of the top 20 players in the 2012 class, already has an offer list pages long, with Michigan State, Indiana, Illinois, Butler, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Xavier among the schools in the mix for his services.

And yet, in an age where multi-sport athletes are discouraged in favor of concentrating solely in one field, Harris will be finding his fall fun under the Friday night lights.

The 6-foot-4 Harris plays wide receiver for Hamilton Southeastern, a team that finished last season 10-2.

“It’s like you can just get away,” Harris said. “You can’t play basketball 24-7. … Football is just kind of a good release.”

Of course, Harris will be playing basketball again come wintertime. And given the summer he had, the Royals’ gym ought to sport a who’s-who lineup of college coaches. Harris’ play has made him one of Indiana’s most sought-after 2012 recruits.

According to Jake Brown, Irish Illustrated recruiting savant and friend of Inside the Hall, Harris plans to line up a third visit to Notre Dame this fall, with strong mutual interest between both parties.

But like many other prospects in the Hoosier state, Harris has come away impressed with the job Tom Crean is doing in rebuilding Indiana’s storied tradition as well.

“Coach Crean, he’s doing a great job recruiting me,” Harris told Inside the Hall. “He’s on a mission to get IU basketball back on the map.”

Still, with a plethora of attractive options on his table at the moment, Harris is in no rush. He said he plans to meet with his parents soon to talk more about his sizable list of suitors, and perhaps begin focusing on schools that “would best fit” him.

Perhaps there will even be some offers from his work on the gridiron this fall, where Harris said he’s received “some” scholarship interest. But when the time comes to make a final decision, Harris’ intentions are clear.

“I’m pretty good at football too, but all that stuff I’ve been doing at basketball lately … That’s going to be my future for college.”

  • Anonymous

    Recruiting savant? I’m picturing Rainman spouting off recruit rankings

  • millzy32

    I know that no one even talks about this guy much on here because they think he’s going elsewhere but man I would love to have this guy and pray that Crean can somehow spark his interest enough to give us a shot. I like the fact that he’s still going to play football in the fall and realizes that he’s still a high school kid and that he should do something that he loves no matter what some are probably telling him about injuries or whatever.

    IU has actually had a few really good receivers lately so hey give us a shot Gary.

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    I’d love to have him but I just have a feeling he’s going to end up getting talked into coming to a school that excels at both sports like (I hate to say it) Ohio State or even Notre Dame.

    I guess this is a situation where we’ll find out just how good of a recruiter CTC is.

  • http://weeklycritiquely.blogspot.com/ IUfanPurduePhD

    But instead of KMart, it’s UK that sucks.

  • http://weeklycritiquely.blogspot.com/ IUfanPurduePhD

    I’m pretty sure his mom went to Purdue, but amazingly, I don’t see their name in the mix (here or elsewhere). So he may be headed elsewhere, but thankfully it won’t be to Purdue.

  • Azur Allen

    I haven’t seen Harris play..but I’ve been under the impression he is someone who is bound to be early entry to the NBA if he does well. Havent really got that impression w/ Jurkin, Zeller, Buss, Yogi…etc. Maybe I’m just crazy. I’d love to have him if he stayed 3-4 years, but I think the best recruits for college are the ones you know will stay at least 3 years.

  • Daburns0

    It looks like ND may have an edge on this one. I guess the prestige of a school like Notre Dame resonates with him. Sounds like a great kid, with good parents. I just hope that maybe he will come around to IU.

  • Kelin Jurkin

    I don’t think Gary Harris gets enough credit for the big time talent he is….big time as in Deshaun Thomas big time. It could be due to his time playing football and not playing in as many aau tourneys. However the fact that IU is recruiting him hard is great….I know Perea is projected to be the big catch for 2012, but Harris is right there with him. He very well could end up growing a few more inches.

    It is also cool that Purdue hasn’t offered him…nice going. Although I think they are out of schollys.

  • Kelin Jurkin

    What is up with Izzo getting all of these commits. The guy is a beast.

  • Anonymous

    I see no reason why GH shouldn’t rock the Candy Stripes.

    Though Gary seems to recognize that his future is in basketball, Lynch will likely have some depth at the WR position (it’s currently our deepest and most talented position on the field), so IU could take a flier on him. We also have a history with dual sport stars (hello, James Hardy and Antwaan Randle El). Do we know whether Bill has made contact with GH or spoken with CTC about that contingency?

    That said, he probably won’t bother; he’ll be a basketball player. Why would he want to go to ND for BASKETBALL? If you think Ohio State only cares about football, visit ND. I’ve watched games in the JAC (Joyce Athletic Center), and it’s one of the more generic, joyless venues I’ve visited. The recent renovations have helped a bit… not much. In addition, Coach Mike Brey has consistently underachieved. Overall, not a basketball school at all, IMO.

    Also, if Harris only stays a year, it will be an especially good one for the Hoosiers. Mo Creek (assuming he’s not pro, which is my bet), Christian Watford, Derek Elston, and Jordan Hulls are seniors. Add the supporting cast and a few TBD players, and GH could be competing for a Big Ten title and a deep tourney run while in Bloomington. I say again, why not?

  • Gustin

    I too cannot see any legitimate reason for CTC to back off on his attempts to recruit GH. And, GH’s comments concerning CTC are all positive. I say keep up the good fight, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Plus, the stripped pants would look great on GH. Come on, you all know that is a fact…VBG!

  • Anonymous

    That Buckner guy was an OK two-sport star, too.

  • Diesel

    Yes, he is on fire. The MSU team is defintely set for the next 4-6 years, and I can slowly see IU heading that direction. Izzo can now spend time on those ’13 and 14′ classes while IU is very much in the fold of the ’11 and ’12 classes. So while we can no longer say IU is behind on recruiting, the fact is CTC is still behind on recruiting (to no fault of his own). But these are exciting times and we will make up ground.

    I remember some shock hearing Dakich talking on the radio about playing baseball at IU for his first couple of years, and we have had a plethora of football/basketball players over the years. My gut feeling is we will fill this class before GH makes a commitment as he will hold out for a higher offer, but I won’t be disappointed in the guys we bring in.

  • Anonymous

    Wasn’t she unhappy with the way a former Purdue coach was let go, or something? I feel like I read that somewhere.

  • Anonymous

    I actually expect IU to get recruits for 2012 that are better than the MSU class of Costello, Kaminiski and Valentine. If IU can get both Zeller and Young to go with Etherington then I like our 2011 class over MSU Dawson #25, Anderson #88 and Trice NR. Cody is the key!

  • marcusgresham

    Don’t forget Antwaan was a 3-sport star, as he played baseball, too.

  • Diesel

    I agree with what you’ve said comparing the classes of recruits, but it is still an “if” on IU’s part, and the MSU kids won’t have to come in and perform right away like Young and Zeller will, if we get them.

  • Anonymous

    GH is great.. But we need a true PG and Ryan Boatright is that guy! We should def look into getting him. He is also ranked 3rd in Illinois in the 2011 class. Illinois players who are not Drose are constantly underated nationally and every year some college gets a steal.
    Quote from Peegs
    “Quinn Cook and Ryan Boatright were impressive in running the point and both have to be among the top four or five guards in this class in getting to the rim. Boatright had 13 points and eight assists. Look for the Chicago area guard who has mentioned Indiana interest in the past to continue to move up the Rivals150. The senior is currently #64 in the national ranking.”

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous

    GH is great.. But we need a true PG and Ryan Boatright is that guy! We should def look into getting him. He is also ranked 3rd in Illinois in the 2011 class. Illinois players who are not Drose are constantly underated nationally and every year some college gets a steal.
    Quote from Peegs
    “Quinn Cook and Ryan Boatright were impressive in running the point and both have to be among the top four or five guards in this class in getting to the rim. Boatright had 13 points and eight assists. Look for the Chicago area guard who has mentioned Indiana interest in the past to continue to move up the Rivals150. The senior is currently #64 in the national ranking.”

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    What about that little point guard who was the player of the game during the Team Latin America vs. Team Africa in that Adidas thing the other night. He’s on the west coast and that’s probably why he hasn’t been very heavily recruited but man that kid had an unbelievable handle and speed like no other player on the court!

  • ArtistFormerlyKnownAs_Aceman07

    But I’d still rather have Yogi! He has it all and is better than both of these guys!

  • Anonymous

    Good points.

  • Daburns0

    VO is going to bring down the house next few years. Can you imagine he and Perea on the court at the same time. I think Vic has a huge upside, because you can’t teach a 50″ vertical. A guy who can jump like that might as well be considered 5 inches taller. I think he will be a special player, as long as he learns to keep it under control.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone know when the new rivals/ scout rankings come out?? I Zeller will be ranked much higher as well as Jurkin.

  • Anonymous

    I like yog and Boatright, bu then again neither has the size I like in a dominant PG on the next level. BJ Young is around 6-5 and DSR is up there too. they would be nice to have. plus both those guys and score in bunches and if there’s one knock on yogi shooting ability is it.

  • Anonymous

    I think the best part from watching the interviews is that he understands his role and knows what he needs to do to improve.

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