- Craig Haubert, ESPN Staff Writer
The pick-up of ESPN 150 safety Marcell Harris (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) helped push the Florida Gators into the No. 1 spot in the 2013 class rankings.
More importantly, though, his verbal gives Florida a versatile defender who potentially could help them remain a stingy defense. Harris is a big safety and, upon first look, you might think this kid will be an outside linebacker in college. He could very well fill that role for the Gators, but the more you watch him, he convinces you that he can stay at safety and be highly productive.
Well-built with the length to continue filling out, he possesses very good closing speed and burst to the football. He can be a stout run defender, as he runs the alley with great speed and little wasted motion. While he could be a more consistently secure tackler, he can deliver a pop on contact. With his size, he also could be a guy who walks up and plays effectively in the box. While a tough run supporter, he can hold up in coverage, as well, in both man and zone schemes and can make plays in the back end.
The Gators, who possess one of the nation’s top defenses, played with several upperclassmen at the safety position in 2012, and while they have a talented roster, Harris gives them some more youth there. However, his greatest attribute might be the scheme versatility he offers, as Florida could use his combination of size and athleticism to help them in a few different ways.
3dAlex Scarborough and Greg Ostendorf
9dGreg Ostendorf and Alex Scarborough