Want to attack every day with the latest Georgia football recruiting info? That’s the Intel. This entry is about the latest news shared today from 5-star priority CB target AJ Harris out of Alabama.
AJ Harris dropped some interesting news today. He’s been a priority target for UGA out of The Glenwood School in Alabama for some time now.
The 5-star ranks as the nation’s No. 3 CB prospect and the No. 13 overall recruit (247Sports Composite) in the 2023 cycle. He exploded this winter once he got the chance to show what he could do on the evaluation circuit.
Harris was a dominant performer at the Atlanta Under Armour regional and at scaled-down Elite 11 and Opening event out of California over the summer. He’s told DawgNation in the past that he felt that “home” vibes at several stops this summer, including Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame and Ohio State.
Harris took one step further on his commitment journey today by releasing his final 7 schools. The 6-foot-2, 182-pound junior shared that via his social media accounts.
There’s a commitment date listed on there of January 11, 2022 as well. At best, that should be labeled as the tentative date.
That is his birthday, but that is so he doesn’t have to rush his decision.
There is a chance, provided that Harris gets that home feeling at one of those seven schools this fall, that he makes an even earlier commitment on Dec. 13. That would be his the birthday of his mother, Glynnis Harris.
Check out some of his early junior highlight film below.
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AJ Harris: What you need to know about this 5-star and UGA
Harris is part of a growing list of young recruits that can say they camped for Kirby Smart at his first summer camps when he arrived in Athens.
It shows how time flies. Now those All-Smart campers are the ones rising up the recruiting rankings, too.
The Glenwood School standout was able to see UGA twice this summer. He was also on hand at the Clemson-Georgia game in Charlotte. Harris was sitting in the Clemson stands because of a few friendships he had with other players in that section.
He had already seen a game sitting among UGA fans so he wanted to get the different perspective of blending among the fan base of one of his top schools at the time, too.
That’s not to say that Georgia did not make a distinct impression over the summer on Harris and his family. There was a moment at UGA for the first of his two trips over the summer.
“Georgia floored me and my family immediately as soon as I got there,” Harris said. “We had driven over in a van and the new facility doors just opened and Dell McGee, coach [Dan] Lanning, coach Kirby [Smart], [defensive backs] coach [Jahmile] Addae, the recruiting coordinators were all at the doors just waiting for me they were like ‘Welcome AJ’ and it felt so welcoming to me and my parents. It caught us off-guard.”
“That’s one thing that was better about Georgia to me. That was unbelievable. Just having the whole coaching staff while the camp was going on and 7-on-7 and for them to just stop what they are doing and just welcome me at the door. That’s just crazy.”
That feeling is right at the top in terms of a “wow” moment for Harris this month.
Addae spent the whole day with Harris on his first visit. That’s while UGA was running a 7-on-7 camp. That was time he prioritized to know Harris instead of evaluating all the 7-on-7 campers.
UGA could film those. They could not get that time with Harris back.
“That was just crazy,” Harris said. “He said that I was just what he expected and I was everything what [his trainer] Oliver Davis II told him about me and more. He liked how I got in and out of my breaks and he liked how I was a sponge and willing to listen and take his critiques when he was ready to give them to me.”
Georgia asked Harris if he wanted to camp. If they asked, would he be ready to? He said yes.
So then the Bulldogs asked. They wanted to see him work. Harris immediately obliged and went to his car and got his cleats. He’s one of those rare breeds that stays ready.
“I was ready because you have to be willing to learn and I also wanted to do it because if Georgia is the spot for me then I need to know what I am coming to and how Addae coaches,” Harris said. “I got to see Addae in a coaching atmosphere. I did some 1-on-1s and I got to see how he coaches through that stuff.”
Harris grew up going to Smart’s football camps. At those, he befriended and dueled with Georgia 2023 commit Pearce Spurlin III. Those two are very close and will always be close.
They were in Athens together for the scavenger hunt event over the summer.
What stays with him about Georgia?
“Just the coaching staff,” Harris told DawgNation over the summer. “I love coach Kirby. I love [defensive backs] coach [Jahmile] Addae and Dell McGee. Some of those people have been recruiting me since I was younger and I’ve been going to the camps there since I was in the seventh grade. I’ve just got a great relationship with them.”
Smart has a pointed message for Harris with every interaction.
“Just stay home,” Harris said while sharing that message. “This relationship I have been building with him for a long time. Let’s go ahead and finish it off and have my college career at the University of Georgia.”
Harris is originally from California. He grew up in Europe but said he considers the state of Georgia to be home if anywhere is. He moved to Phenix City in Alabama about five months ago.
He lived in Georgia after his father retired from the military after that time in Europe.
5-star CB AJ Harris is one of the most wanted players on the board for Georgia in the class of 2023. (Jeff Sentell/DawgNation)
What is AJ Harris looking for?
That’s not to say this process will be tidy for Georgia. If we looking at this from all sides, the Harris recruitment is shaping up as a bare-knuckle brawl between Clemson, Georgia, Notre Dame and Ohio State as well as Alabama, LSU and North Carolina.
What is he looking for?
“Just the best place for me to go as far as putting me in the best position to achieve my dreams of playing in the NFL,” Harris told DawgNation this summer. “But my education will always be first. Making sure they have my major to take care of me on or off the field.”
Clemson got the first visit for Harris on June 1. The Tigers also got the last visit from Harris over the summer before the dead period dropped again on August 1.
Dabo Swinney told him this summer he makes no promises to any recruit. He did make one to Harris. It was that he was going to love him if he came to play for his program.
That sentiment touched Harris. It appealed to the very narrow scope of what he is looking for.
Harris hopes to see all of those schools at some time this fall. Travel will be hard with his high school schedule, but he’s going to try and see if he can figure out where home is by visiting all of them for games this fall.
What are his lasting memories from Clemson?
“A great family,” Harris told DawgNation over the summer. “Genuine feel. We actually went back so my Mom could see. She didn’t get to go to the first Clemson visit. We just had to make the effort to make sure she got to see Clemson, Clemson’s campus, and get the actual feel for the coaching staff as well. It was definitely a great visit with great vibes and my family and I loved it.”
Ohio State and Notre Dame should also be seen as two very serious contenders here. He’s felt a strong connections to both programs for an extended period there, too.
Harris just hasn’t visited him since his last two on-campus visits to Clemson and Georgia.
A few other stories to know about Harris:
(check on the recent reads on DawgNation.com)