OL Joe Harris commits to South Carolina over UGA and Clemson (UPDATED)

Lithonia HS OL Joe Harris commits to South Carolina over UGA and Clemson with his mother next to him on Wednesday (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

Lithonia HS OL Joe Harris commits to South Carolina over UGA and Clemson with his mother next to him on Wednesday (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

(BREAKING: Click here to read about top UNC recruiting target in Georgia shocked by firing of Butch Davis)

Joe Harris, who is considered by some to be Georgia’s No. 1 college football prospect on the offensive line, committed to South Carolina on Wednesday.

“I love everything about South Carolina — it just shines brightly to me,” Harris told the AJC.

The 6-foot-4, 290-pounder from Lithonia High School picked South Carolina over UGA, Clemson and Mississippi State among his 13 early offers at DeKalb County’s football “Media Day.”

7 of South Carolina's 17 commitments for 2012 are from Georgia. How would you grade Spurrier's overall recruiting efforts in Georgia?

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“South Carolina is on the rise; they have some of the best players in the country with Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffrey,” Harris said. “They need some help on the offensive line. The coaches feel like I can be someone who can give them some immediate help. I really like South Carolina’s coaches, and I think they will help me bring out the best in me as a football player. South Carolina has a great atmosphere for college football. They have some of the best fan support anywhere, win or lose. But they’re winning now, and I want to be a part of that winning.”

The Gameocks also gained inside position due to Cedrick Cooper, who played at Lithonia last season and ended up signing with South Carolina. Said Harris, “We’re really good friends. He told me a lot of good things about South Carolina. We played on the same team in high school, and want to do it again in college. I also know Sharrod Golightly [freshman safety from Southwest DeKalb High School], and some of the other Atlanta recruits who have already committed to South Carolina this year.”

What about UGA?  ”I had people in my family and teachers who wanted me to go to UGA,” Harris said. “It’s a good school. But I just didn’t connect to UGA as well I did with the overall situation at South Carolina … South Carolina is just a better fit for me.”

Said Lithonia coach Marcus Jelks, “UGA was one of the first to offer Joe. But other schools recruited him much harder over the last few months.”

South Carolina has 17 players committed for its 2012 recruiting class, including 7 from Georgia. Said Jelks, “Harris is a big, strong kid who has a lot strength and power. He’s also a natural leader at the position. He’ll be a good one for South Carolina.”

UPDATE: One of Georgia’s top basketball players has Duke, Memphis and Ohio State as his leaders. Tony Parker, a 6-foot-9, 270-pound forward from Miller Grove High School, is also talking with North Carolina and NCAA champion UConn (click on story link)

RELATED FOOTBALL RECRUITING STORIES

  • Top UNC target in Georgia “shocked” by Butch Davis firing (click on story link)
  • One Georgia HS has 11 seniors committed to play football at D1 schools (click on story link)
  • Lifelong UGA fan will play for archrival Georgia Tech (click on story link)
  • Nephew of 3-time Olympic gold medalist Gail Devers to play football at Virginia (click on story link)
  • If SC-bound Joe Harris isn't Georgia's No. 1 OL, then it's Buford High School's Vadal Alexander (pictured). Vadal also appears headed out of state, listing LSU, Alabama, and Auburn as his leaders (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

    If SC-bound Joe Harris isn't Georgia's No. 1 OL, then it's Buford High School's Vadal Alexander (pictured). Vadal also appears headed out of state, listing LSU, Alabama, and Auburn as his leaders (AJC photo by Michael Carvell)

  • Georgia Tech lands DB from same Florida HS as UGA’s Aaron Murray and Orson Charles (click on story link)
  • Georgia’s No. 1 point guard picks UGA over NCAA champ UConn & FSU (click on story link)
  • Tennessee gets commitment No. 8 in less than a week with Georgia WR (click on story link)
  • Armchair QB Q: Should UGA have signed another RB to go with Isaiah Crowell? (click on story link)
  • Somoan OL Chester Brown picks UGA (click on story link)
  • UGA’s QB of the future: Yet to start in high school, ready to prove scouts are right (click on story link)
  • UGA’s Mark Richt gives a “group hug” after 4 commit together at Dawg Night (click on story link)
  • What do Georgia Tech’s 2012 football recruits think of the NCAA ruling? (click on story link)
  • Who is the best DUNKER in Georgia history? State your case by going here
  • UGA is ranked No. 2 in the nation in recruiting over the last 10 years (click on story link)
  • Georgia Tech basketball coach says NCAA’s penalties will make ACC school stronger (click on story link)
  • How committed is a Georgia RB to Alabama? So much that he cut the “A” in his head (click on story link)
  • Georgia QB picks Louisville over Alabama and Mississippi State (click on story link)
  • Surprise! See 40-yard dash times of Georgia’s top prospects (click on story link)
  • A Georgia football coach, who inspired many with his attitude toward a terminal illness, resigns (click here for story)
  • Georgia State vs. Georgia Southern fans in an epic message board war right here
  • Georgia’s “fastest football recruit” (click here for story)

– By Michael Carvell, AJC Recruiting Blog Got a recruiting item? mcarvell@ajc.com

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306 comments Add your comment

BamaDog

July 27th, 2011
5:36 pm

gamecock

July 27th, 2011
5:39 pm

gamecock

July 27th, 2011
5:40 pm

Want be many posting here we all expected this to happen.

Go cocks lol

gamecock

July 27th, 2011
5:40 pm

Air Force Gamecock

July 27th, 2011
5:41 pm

Happy to have you on board Joe! Go Gamecocks!

New QB coach of SC

July 27th, 2011
5:42 pm

Harris,
Are you idiot? Have you not been to Columbia before? There ain’t nothing to do but watch paint dry. Good luck, no pretty women and the night life sux and so do the Gamecocks!

Barack Dawg

July 27th, 2011
5:43 pm

The real reason was you don’t get to get drunk and disorderly, get arrested, and get to stay on the team if you do it 5 different times or do it with your position coach in Athens but you can in Columbia. Best of luck to you young man.

Douglas

July 27th, 2011
5:44 pm

Wow. I was born in Athens, graduated from UGA, and now live near Charleston. And now when we need offensive linemen the most, USC beats us in our own state? USC will beat UGA this year…no doubt about it…they have better coaching and they are on the rise.

DDPO

July 27th, 2011
5:45 pm

It’s rich to hear a UGA fan lecture a kid about getting arrested!

Amazing

Lester Miles

July 27th, 2011
5:45 pm

Another Georgia HS player that used our taxpayer money for his education and training and then got in bed with the enemy. Not too much loyalty or class with these individuals. Play and stay in south carolina. Have a great day.

tony

July 27th, 2011
5:45 pm

Steve Spurrier is now getting 4 and 5 star recruits. The Gamecocks is on their way to their 1st NC.

Viking87

July 27th, 2011
5:47 pm

Wish he was coming to UGA but best of luck (except 1 weekend a year in Sept). Congratulations!

[...] OG Joe Harris commits to South Carolina OL Joe Harris commits to South Carolina over UGA and Clemson | AJC College Sports Recruiting Joe Harris, who is considered by some to be Georgia’s No. 1 college football prospect on [...]

Lowcountry Bulldawg

July 27th, 2011
5:47 pm

Congrats on the choice. A free education to a SEC school is not to be taken lightly. Good luck..

honolulu dawg

July 27th, 2011
5:47 pm

New QB of SC, your the real freakin moron.

Bigdsel

July 27th, 2011
5:47 pm

Oh well, I heard he was a cock anyways. Hehehe.

Good luck

July 27th, 2011
5:49 pm

Good Luck at South Carolina, a program that has won a total of 4 bowl games , never been to a major bowl, never finished in the top 10, and has lost 5-6 games per year the past 6 season. Zero tradition. have fun.

Ralph

July 27th, 2011
5:49 pm

@tony: They is? Really? They be world beaters, I bet.

gamecock

July 27th, 2011
5:51 pm

Lol why so much hate all college kids drink. We as adults drink let these kids enjoy there college exp caused we all knpw once college over its the real world

nash

July 27th, 2011
5:52 pm

Good luck in Columbia young man except for when your team plays the Doggs. This article should not be about some one not coming to Ga the play football but it should be about a young man getting a one in million chance to do something most of use only dream about.

Dawg Tell

July 27th, 2011
5:52 pm

Hope we sign 6 to 8 O/L in 2012.If not, we have some big trouble for the next two to three years.,This year will be bad if we have any offensive lineman go down and next year is starting to look not so good. Anyway good luck Joe Harris in USC/e.

security dawg

July 27th, 2011
5:53 pm

—-Well I’ll be, the CHICKENS have 1 good season, not great I remind you, and all of a sudden they on the up in up!! They are winning and I want to be a part of a winning team, May I remind all the chicken eatersin this great state of GA that the DAWGS have ate chicken so long that even when we couldn’t score an offensive TD we still beat yall (see David P.) I’m not bashing the KID just saying…hope things work out well with You there anyway..Black man getting ED…happy but GATA gooooooooooooooo DAWGS woof woof woof

Bigdsel

July 27th, 2011
5:55 pm

Hopefully my dawgs spank up on S.C. And he changes his mind. Goo Dawgs!!!

slydog

July 27th, 2011
5:56 pm

Am i smoking something or did an anonymous troll call this young man an idiot? He and his family are from South Carolina. Easy enough for him to pick the Gamecocks. I have a second cousin who played for Camden County three years ago and he did the same thing. Why? He was born in SC and his father’s family still lived there. DUH!!! Good luck to you young man and may you finish your education.

RRTDawgs

July 27th, 2011
5:56 pm

Butch Davis Fired Keith Marshall will be a dawg .

5150 UOAD

July 27th, 2011
5:57 pm

Could see this coming.
The kid will feel more at home. USC gets a B+ in Diversity and has 12% African American student body. UGA gets a C+ in Diversity and has only 7% African American student body.

Mean Machine

July 27th, 2011
5:57 pm

“Said Lithonia coach Marcus Jelks, “UGA was one of the first to offer Joe. But other schools recruited him much harder over the last few months.” ”

Are you kidding? As bad as UGA needs OL, and they have schools recruiting kids “harder”? There’s no excuse for this. I don’t care what kind of class they signed last year, this is unacceptable. It may be time replace Rodney Garner as Recruiting Coordinator if there are going to be out-of-state schools that are more persistent than UGA for top in-state prospects. There’s no excuse for being outworked! Bad job UGA, keep up the lackadaisical approach and you’ll be out of a job!

Dawginit.

July 27th, 2011
5:58 pm

Worst kept secret in recruiting. Good luck to you Joe except when you play UGA.

Blackoutanyone?

July 27th, 2011
5:59 pm

Stay classy Georgia… Good luck young man. ROLL TIDE!!

gamecock

July 27th, 2011
6:00 pm

Rrt this about sc wait until they publish about butch this the sec who cares about the acc

slydog

July 27th, 2011
6:00 pm

Don’t worry Dog fans. We have 16 scholarship O-linemen on the team. Some will have to play earlier and that’s ok. They signed up to play on the field, not be tortured by the S & C coach for 2-3 yrs…lol

RRTDawgs

July 27th, 2011
6:00 pm

Derrick Henry + Marshall + Crowell = 3 headed monster .

chuck

July 27th, 2011
6:02 pm

The key quote in this article is by Lithonia coach Marcus Jelks, “UGA was one of the first to offer Joe. But other schools recruited him much harder over the last few months.” Here we go again with the same old problem. The same thing happened with Dillon Lee and is happening with Vadal Alexander. Lithonia High School is 56 miles from CMR’s office. Once again we are being outworked by other schools. We desperately need OL and the best in the state are going to be playing against us for the next 4 years.

I think Mark Richt is a wonderful person. My concern is that he isn’t prepared to put in the hours to be a top tier head coach in the SEC. The same can be said of Mike Bobo. I think it is great that Coach Bobo has such a close knit family. But he and Coach Richt knew the hours involved when they chose to be football coaches.

RRTDawgs

July 27th, 2011
6:02 pm

Gamecock it helps UGA get Kieth Marshall that’s why said it oh and congrats on Harris .

5150 UOAD

July 27th, 2011
6:04 pm

Derrick Henry + Marshall + Crowell = 3 headed monster – Bobo = 3 headed monster with 1/2 a brain.

tony

July 27th, 2011
6:07 pm

@
Ralph

We are imperfect humanbeings so we will err once in a while. Good luck to Joe Harris and the Gamecocks at least until they play the dawgs. ..

slydog

July 27th, 2011
6:07 pm

@5150 UOAD I’m black and that statistic you mentioned has absolutely nothing to do with anything. Look at the games. How many blacks do you see in the stadium? probably thousands are there but you can hardly notice. What are the chances this athlete will even notice how much more “diverse” South Carolina is? How many blacks would rather stay in GA VS SC? His family sure liked our state. How many 4 yr research Universities and regional colleges do we have here in GA vs SC? If we insist on bringing color to the discussion, let’s get it straight. At least no one has called him a thief, gangsta, or illiterate yet.

6 wins and 7 losses

July 27th, 2011
6:08 pm

Security Dawg,
Your team won 6 games last year and couldn’t score a TD against UCF. This is the only history you should be concerned about. UGA not only lost to USC, by you were soundly beaten on both sides of the ball.

Go back to your trailer park as you can’t be a UGA graduate…yeah, another sidewalk alumni.

gamecock

July 27th, 2011
6:08 pm

Well don’t count on that Rrt who will be uga coach next year? Sure not richtey lol

RRTDawgs

July 27th, 2011
6:08 pm

Its official Butch Davis out from ESPN Marshall .

Destin Dawg

July 27th, 2011
6:08 pm

Good luck young man.. either way… you can change your mind before signing day.. Dawgs going uphill… Spurrier and Garcia etc.. will be gone…. use your scholarship to get a good education.. go Dawgs !!!

HardTruth Soldier

July 27th, 2011
6:09 pm

Enter your comments here

RRTDawgs

July 27th, 2011
6:10 pm

You can say all you want but Marshall will be a dawg we have been after him the most .

slydog

July 27th, 2011
6:10 pm

@ Blackoutanyone? How do you explain Mark Ingram receiving a suit from T-town stores that he later wore at his Heisman ceremony? Problem is, he played the following year. And don’t give that crap about Alabama cutting ties to that store. I am a computer science major. Even I can forge documents.

Snoop Dawg

July 27th, 2011
6:10 pm

Word’s out on Markt Wrecked. There goes another Georgia athlete to toment us on the team of a rival.
Wake up Bulldog Nation… You’re marching off the cliff with da Preacha Man and his mesmerizing Koolaid…

5150 UOAD

July 27th, 2011
6:11 pm

Bye Bye Butch Davis. UNC is too Classy to have a guy like this on the campus.

New York to Georgia

July 27th, 2011
6:11 pm

Good luck to the kid! Time for my UGA Bulldogs to lock up some more talent on the offensive line… We are the best in the league at every other position on offense….

Josh Nesbitt Heisman Campaign Spending = GT in the red

July 27th, 2011
6:12 pm

“South Carolina is on the rise”

You keep telling yourself that. In 4 years you will have nothing to show for it.

Last year was a fluke. We hear the same ole crap about SCU (can’t use USC because USC won that in court) and UK at every coaching change and good recruit.

RRTDawgs

July 27th, 2011
6:12 pm

Hey gamecock man must been embarrassing to find out your QB coach getting arrested for urinating .

Snoop Dawg

July 27th, 2011
6:14 pm

Oh, the top two OL in Georgia: One is signed with Alabama, the other one with South Carolina. Great job Markt Wrecked.. The three dollar man (million to one dollar to worth ratio).,.