Joe Harris has UGA and Georgia Tech offers, attends Alabama camp

Lithonia Joe Haris (right) is one of the state's top OL, while teammate David Johnson is a 2013 prospect with two early offers (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Lithonia Joe Harris (right) is one of the state's top OL prospects, while teammate DE David Johnson (No. 56) is a 2013 prospect with two early offers (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

One of Georgia’s top offensive lineman said he will likely make his college decision by the end of summer or shortly after the start of his senior year of football.

Joe Harris, a 6-foot-4, 290-pound offensive lineman from Lithonia High School, said he has 13 offers, including Clemson, UGA, Georgia Tech, Florida State, South Carolina, Louisville, and North Carolina.

Harris made an unofficial visit to Clemson and is considering a trip to UGA within the next few weeks. He hasn’t been to as many college camps as other top prospects because he is attending summer school to stay on track to meet NCAA academic requirements. Harris said he has been told that Vanderbilt may be his next offer.

“Everybody has been calling and wants him to come to their camp,” Lithonia coach Marcus Jelks said. “Joe has been going to summer classes, and working out with the team. He’s having a good summer, and he will get everything taken care soon enough with the colleges.”

Harris and his Lithonia teammate, David Johnson, did work out at Alabama camp in front of coach Nick Saban last week. Neither have been offered by Alabama, but both were told that they are now under scholarship consideration. David Johnson is a rising junior (2013 prospect) who stands 6-2 and 225 pounds, plays defensive end, and already has early offers from South Carolina and Southern Miss.

“Alabama loved David and I’m pretty sure he will be getting an offer from them,” Jelks said.

Said Harris, “It went really well at Alabama. Coach Saban said he was really impressed with how much weight I’ve lost and said I looked very athletic. He said they want to come to a few of my games and see how I play before making a final decision on whether to offer.”

Harris said he is very high on both in-state schools, Georgia Tech and UGA. He has a family connection to Georgia Tech, with his cousin — and former Lithonia player — Jimmie Kitchen signing with Georgia Tech a few months ago. Harris also said UGA was one of the first schools to offer him, and he’s aware of UGA’s priority of recruiting offensive linemen this year.

Harris has made an amazing transformation with his conditioning. Within the span of a year, Harris dropped from 340 pounds to 275, then added 15 pounds of muscle. He credits workouts and playing basketball for Lithonia for the weight loss.

“Even at 340, he still had great feet, which the college scouts love,” Jelks said. “Now that he’s at 290, he looks that much better.”

Said Harris, “I’m more mobile, and can get to the second and third third level much faster to block linebackers and defensive backs.”

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70 comments Add your comment

cantondawg

June 16th, 2011
3:20 pm

Ramblin Man

June 16th, 2011
3:23 pm

oops. Would be nice if GT could land this kid. Hopefully the staff and Kitchens can sell him.

cantondawg

June 16th, 2011
3:26 pm

Let’s use some logic here, Joe Harris said he wants to make a decision before the end of summer. Nick Saban stated that he wanted to see a couple of games before making an offer. Sounds to me like this will be a in-state battle between Tech and UGA. Unfortunately, he has a cousin at Tech and family members can be persuasive

Michael Carvell

June 16th, 2011
3:34 pm

@cantondawg, thanks I will clarify that. Joe said by end of summer or shortly after the start of his senior year. Summer doesn’t end until mid-Sept. Thanks for comment.

RabidDawgFan

June 16th, 2011
3:34 pm

He has that name of a ferocious football player. Usually the kids with the simple names have a mean streak. Mean Joe Greene for example. Joe Harris just sounds vintage and mean. Commit to the Dawgs and get some playin time son! Go Dawgs!

ATLANTA GEORGIA, USA

June 16th, 2011
3:38 pm

He is likekly to commit to UGA , offensive linemen is priorty for them

ManUp...

June 16th, 2011
3:40 pm

We could use a Joe Harris on The Flats. Tell him how much you love it, Kitchens. The more quality talent makin’ their name known at Tech the better. Let’s shake this state up! Make your momma proud and play in White and Gold!

Go Jackets!

RRTDawgs

June 16th, 2011
3:42 pm

UGA main focus is getting linemen may not be doing anything fancy like Auburn and Florida but there using this class for needs we are real good shape with several linemen Theus of course but have gain ground on Alexander & Avery Young i like are chances with Harris to .

ATL Nole

June 16th, 2011
3:42 pm

Hopefully we have a shot a landing the offensive lineman.

ATL Nole

June 16th, 2011
3:43 pm

cantondawg

June 16th, 2011
3:55 pm

Michael,

When i stated “let’s use some logic here” i was speaking generally and not to you. It was definitely not intended for you i was just saying it in a general manner. Sorry if it was misconstrued.

Michael Carvell

June 16th, 2011
3:56 pm

@Canton, no apologies needed. After I read your comment, I felt like that needed to clarified. Thanks for pointing it out and participating in the discussion.

AnnapolisDawg

June 16th, 2011
4:01 pm

Good luck with your Senior season Joe and kudos to you for spending your Summer in the classroom. Athletic ability is a gift that can be stripped away at a moments notice; education will be with you for life. I also think it’s important to notice that UGA was one of the 1st to offer! This should tell all of the UGA “unfaithful” that CMR knows what he’s doing and isn’t just sitting back on his heels. He is building a program of athletes with high character and no, this isn’t a cop-out statement for not signing every top prospect in the state. We’ve all seen what happens when you don’t judge a young man’s character in the recruiting process. Bring in the boys that want to be Bulldogs!

Jacket Man

June 16th, 2011
4:07 pm

Joe Harris is a “legacy” at GA Tech – a former dynamite linebacker back in the early 70’s; I’m sure there’s no relation, but Joe sure would have some name recognition on the Flats.

Destin Dawg

June 16th, 2011
4:19 pm

Parade magazine says ” UGA #2 large State University education plus big time sports ” in beautiful Athens, Ga…. kids that stay in State.. close to support groups.. friends and family.. do better in school and life after football.. Go Dawgs !!!

RRTDawgs

June 16th, 2011
4:21 pm

Has anyone heard of this linemen Brandon Hill this guy ‘6′6′ 380 pounds he is out of Tenn UGA has offered this kid he almost 400 pounds he is huge

Carvell who?

June 16th, 2011
4:21 pm

Why dont u go work for the Alabama Redneck times or something.

New York Dawg

June 16th, 2011
4:21 pm

It appears both Tech and UGA need O-linemen… As long as the kid stays in the state of Georgia I don’t care where he ends up! I’m just shocked when I see top talent leave the state to play ball… Especially to schools in Alabama! These kids will get much more national publicity, regardless of the team’s success, playing for a big city market team (Tech and UGA)!

rduck

June 16th, 2011
4:23 pm

I would truly love to see this kid play obn the Flats. Coach Johnson and staff have put alot of focus on this kid as a true all-ACC caliber talent. Hopefully his ties to Tech and the straight forward approach of CPJ and co will persuade Mr Harris to come and play for the Gold and White. C’mon Joe, we at Tech would love to have you be a oart of a great 2011 class for Tech. Good luck with your upcoming season and your future decision… Go Jackets!!!

JasperJacket

June 16th, 2011
4:26 pm

If Harris chooses Tech he would be in line to be the second Joe Harris that made a mark for himself at GT. The previous Joe Harris was an outstanding LB at Tech in the 70’s and had a nice pro career to boot in addition to getting his degree and going on to a productive business life after football.

schmeckdawg

June 16th, 2011
4:26 pm

DAWGS have to get this kid, the Alexander kid from Buford and Theus’ brother out of The Bolles School. Would also be nice to grab the kid that RRTDawgs is talking about.

richmondDawg

June 16th, 2011
4:42 pm

RRTD, if we get those four guys, this class will shape up very nicely. We still might have a shot with Geno if the season goes well, as well as with Marshall, since UNC looks to be taking some heat from the ncaa this summer…

Roll Tide with Pride!!!

June 16th, 2011
4:46 pm

Tech or UGA? Priceless.

UGA – 3 year down trend – look for level out this year with slight up tick.
USCe and Florida are better programs – with Tennessee on the rise.
Look for Tennessee to be in contention in 2012 – very young team this year.

If Joe is patient and smart – he will wait to see if Alabama offers.
– Best HC in America
– Best program in America
Top high profile team in the SEC.

All over this country – when people think of the SEC – they first think Alabama – then other schools.

Getting offered from Alabama is an honor – from other SEC schools – it’s because they are fighting for left overs.

If you do not get an offer from Alabama – look at Tech or Vandy. Great academic schools!

At any rate – best of luck to this young man!

RTR

RRTDawgs

June 16th, 2011
4:49 pm

I agree schemckdawg & richmondDawg we are in good shape with the targets that are left on the board and also it will depend on our season .

Hoopster

June 16th, 2011
4:50 pm

Rumor is a Tech lean.

UNC Champs

June 16th, 2011
4:53 pm

The state of GA has the same problem we have in NC when it comes to BB. Sometimes top talent leaves the state, even when all in-state offers arrive, to play for schools with much easier academic rigor. Think about it, you can play football for a school that requires very little academically. Not to call any school(s) out in particular, but you can figure this one out.

UNC Champs

June 16th, 2011
4:58 pm

Roll Tide:

UGA is also great academically, along with Tech and Vandy… When I think of the SEC I think of the Georgia/Florida game, not redneck Alabama!

RRTDawgs

June 16th, 2011
4:59 pm

Yea i hope Harris stays in state whether he plays for UGA or Tech it hard to see all these recruits leave the state its hurting both our schools big time .

GTBob

June 16th, 2011
5:02 pm

Rivals and Scout both say he already has an offer from Alabama, yet apparently he doesn’t. I’m confused.

Michael Carvell

June 16th, 2011
5:03 pm

@GTBob, Joe Harris and his HS coach both said that he does not have an Alabama offer yet, but that Saban liked him at camp and will be evaluating him his senior year for a possible offer.

Roll Tide with Pride!!!

June 16th, 2011
5:05 pm

richmonddawg – UGA does need to focus on O-Line.

I think UGA is in good shape with Marshall – better than 60%. UNC could be a threat – and then more nationally known schools like Notre Dame are now focussing hard for his talents. Notre Dame is on the rebound and should be very good this year – they are National and academics lights out.

Geno Smith – there is no interest in UGA – kid will go to Alabama -wait and see. Kirby Smart and Saban have such a great focus on defense – any DB or defensive player is best served to play for these two. Muschamp can bring some game as well.

Not sold on Grantham yet – UGA’s defense was pretty bad last year – could not stop any team on 3rd down. However – it was a HUGE change to go to a 3-4 – and the first year is a big learning curve. This will be the year to guage Grantham.

Lagdawg

June 16th, 2011
5:09 pm

Why would someone attend a camp if the school didn’t make them an offer? It’s obvious that Ala. is not really interested in the kid or Saban would have scooped him up a long time ago. Seems to me they don’t like the new UGA OL coach.

Michael Carvell

June 16th, 2011
5:10 pm

@Lagdawg, thats a great question. imho, the only reason a senior with 10 or more offers would go to camp at a college that has not offered is because it’s one of his “dream schools.” Harris also is thinking about doing one other camp this summer — that’s LSU.

RRTDawgs

June 16th, 2011
5:14 pm

I like that news on Kieth Marshall man what an awesome combo of Crowell and Marshall UGA is still in the mix for Geno Smith Quayvon Hicks is helping the dawgs in recruiting Smith .

kevin

June 16th, 2011
5:17 pm

Roll Tide with Pride!!!

June 16th, 2011
4:46 pm

Pre-Saban for years Bama was a mess in the SEC. Your post and all this “There’s Bama then the rest” business is laughable at best and completely divorced from reality at worst.

Worm

June 16th, 2011
5:24 pm

Looks like Saban is dragging his feet..If Richt hadn’t offered this kid, you guys would be all over him.

Tdawg

June 16th, 2011
5:28 pm

Roll Tide With Pride read what UNC Champs just posted. That pretty much tells it all. Some of these kids go to some of these schools not because they like it better, but for no other reason than the easier class work. Kid read where people are talking about academic achivement in the SEC and you will see that a certain school is not even on the map when getting a top notch education is concerned. Now on the other hand if getting a good education is not a requirement, then by all means. Wait until you play a couple of games and then attend Alabama. Roll Tide Alabama gets most of their talent simply because a great many kids coming out of high school don’t want to have to worry about hard work in school. Shoot they can just go to schools like Alabama and Auburn and they got it made. Never heard of a player flunking out of Alabama, unless of course Saban needs to make room for a higher profile player.

Roll Tide with Pride!!!

June 16th, 2011
6:13 pm

TDawg – Touche my friend. I forgot that UGA turned down the opportunity to join the Ive League.
Hey – not much difference in any of the big in state schools. Accounting at Bama is probably the same as accounting at UGA – follow what I am saying?

Kevin – your comment on the preSaban years at Bama being a mess. Yes, they were, but the 80 decades before Coach Mike DuBose screwed up our program were pretty awesome.

FUNNY how BAMA quickly recovered and passed UGA, has won conference and a National Title – while UGA is coming off a losing season.

But to your point – the Coach DuBose staff at BAMA cheated, the HC was having an affair with an admin assistant – we got exactly what we deserved. I have not beefs with the NCAA or Fulmer. Bottom line – our staff cheated, they got caught, they lied, they pointed fingers – we needed to change the culture because it got out of hand.

This can happen at any school. Lou Hotlz at Notre Dame, Pete Carrol at USC, Jim Harrick at UGA.

If UGA sucks again this year – UGA is best served to let another coach come in and give it a try.

Getting upset by Colorado is one thing.
Getting beat over the last couple of seasons by OK STATE, Kentucky, Colorado, Mississippi State and UCF pretty much tells you that these losses are not UPSETS – they are the state of UGA’s program.

Lester Miles

June 16th, 2011
6:45 pm

Let’s go Dawgs. Keep the good info coming Michael.

1eyedJack

June 16th, 2011
6:56 pm

Michael C., any info on why UGA hasn’t offered Alex Jauregui? He’s a big fella.

Roll Tide with Pride!!!

June 16th, 2011
4:46 pm

You buttered yourself up so good that if a body tried to grab hold of you why, you’d just squush right out of their hands. Just how big can you puff yourself up?

Tokyo jacket

June 16th, 2011
7:05 pm

I’m starting to lose confidence that CPJ and co can land a kid in this realm. I’m really hoping that last year was just a statistical anomaly. But, to lose EVERY single kid that we battled with the big schools for is not a good sign. What I hope is good news is that Tech did finish second for many of them. If a few of those seconds had been firsts, we would have had a top 25 class. But, this year is looking like more of last year after already having come in second about three times.

Tech needs to start landing some talent. If you can’t do it after a 11-3 season or a 9-4 season, a 6-7 season is probably going to be even tougher.

LagDawg

June 16th, 2011
7:12 pm

Thanks Carvell. Didn’t know UA was one of his dream schools. So whats the news about Keith Marshall? Is there any news about any big time WRs? What about the LB Clemons from Valdosta.

naganole

June 16th, 2011
7:13 pm

UGA will not have a bad year. They don’t play Bama or LSU, and get USCe at home. UGA will win the East, probably 11-1 for the regular season.

Michael Carvell

June 16th, 2011
7:17 pm

@Lagdawg. Not sure about that, but that was my theory on why he went to Alabama camp. He obviously wanted to earn an offer from there.

Tide Roll

June 16th, 2011
7:17 pm

Joe. Be patient, Bama will offer. You and Brandon Greene (6′6″ 300 lb. OT and Under Armour All-American from Atlanta Creekside) will form the same OT/OG combo as two other Georgia athletes, Hepzibah’s James Carpenter (an NFL 1st rounder) and Atlanta Westlake’s Chance Warmack (a future NFL 1st rounder).They made up the left side of our National Champioship team! Richt/Bobo don’t care about the offensive line. All they want to do is throw the ball around in an effort to show everybody how smart they are. They’re two peas in a pod. Talk to Brandon. You two will be an awsome combo, just like James and Chance! Roll Tide.

naganole

June 16th, 2011
7:20 pm

@LagDawg. Clemons is a Viking. All Vikings belong to us…

Worm

June 16th, 2011
7:26 pm

TideRoll, OL are the riskiest position to recruit..If they can’t play, there’s nowhere to move them…Give me those 6′3-4 guys about 270 who can run..College rosters are loaded with OL washouts.

FLA DAWG

June 16th, 2011
8:33 pm

Big Joe could start this season at UGA.
We need a Big Man Lineman.
Besides, he’s already wearing a Bulldog Jersey!

GT 1

June 16th, 2011
8:41 pm

If Wofford, Arkansas State, Troy or Ga. Southern offers, then PJ will have a shot.

GrantparkGator

June 16th, 2011
8:44 pm

RRTDawgs…tow worst kept secerts in recruiting in FL: Brian Poole and Avery Young silents to UF…just like Dunker he’s from UGA but doesn’t care to be a pup…his father is ALL Gator and so is Avery. CMR better keep and eye on Theus two trips to UF in a week.