Valley DE Inches Closer to Decision

Nat Harrison

Fresno (Calif.) Edison defensive end Nat Harrison may have not received the same headlines of Cliff Harris and Rolando Jefferson, but when opposing coaches watched Edison game film, No. 80 easily stood out. Despite receiving an early offer from Utah, most colleges didn't take notice until seeing him on film while scouting his teammates. One of those schools was Fresno State…

Nat Harrison (6-3, 220) has played both ways since his freshman year of high school. He is athletic enough to play safety but with his size, he was better suited to play defensive end and tight end. Moreover, at times, he lined up at offensive guard to help a depleted Edison line.

As sophomore, he earned all-combine honors at the Scout.com San Francisco Combine in April of 2007. However, during his junior campaign he was benched midway through the season by the coaches. After a promising start to his varsity career—he returned a fumble return for a touchdown (it was called back) in his first game—he was off the radar in the spring heading into his senior season.

Utah offered him the spring of his sophomore season, but after his junior season, Harrison received no contact from the Ute coaches. Nonetheless, he competed at the New Level Badger Camp in Las Vegas and at the UnderArmour/Scout.com L.A. Combine as a tight end. He performed well as receiving target at both, but most analysts projected him as a defensive player at the next level. Scout.com currently rates him as the 46th ranked strong side linebacker in nation.

Fast forward to his senior season, and Harrison can't be ignored on film. In games against Merced (Calif.), Clovis (Calif.) Buchanan, and Fresno (Calif.) Bullard he had some of his best performances. He was so dominant off the edge; college coaches took notice while scouting other Edison players.

"I'm grateful for those coaches who noticed my son [on film]," Nat's mother Monica Harrison said. "And for the [opposing] high school coaches who spoke highly of my son after his games."

Harrison's recruitment picked up midseason when Fresno State head coach Pat Hill made a surprise visit to the Edison campus. Harrison took his official visit to Fresno State January 9-11, where he received an official offer from the Bulldogs.

"It was cool," Harrison said of his official visit to Fresno State. The Bulldogs are recruiting him as a strong side linebacker with the possibility of moving him to defensive end.

"Everyone else is recruiting me as a defensive end," said Harrison.

Everyone else includes Sacramento State, UC Davis, San Diego State, Cal Poly, and Army.

Harrison took his official trip to Sac State last month and this past weekend he was in Davis— both offered on his official visit. Next up are possible trips to Cal Poly and Army.

Rich Ellerson recruited Harrison when he was at Cal Poly, how as the new head coach at West Point he is still focused on landing him.

"Army hasn't offered yet," said Harrison. "They're coming in for a [in-home] visit this week."

Coincidently, former Army offensive coordinator Tim Walsh is now the head coach at Cal Poly. In addition, the Mustangs are willing to offer if he takes an official visit, according to Harrison.

Harrison hopes to take his official visit to Army this weekend, and if he decides to visit Cal Poly, it would be on January 30. However, he says he could be ready to decide this week if he does not visit West Point.

"All his teachers, advisors want him to go to Fresno State so they can see him play," said Monica Harrison.

The Bulldogs are a slight favorite, but Harrison says he will not decide until after he talks with Army this week.

Harrison carries a 3.3 GPA. He scored a 1440 on his SAT.

Stay with BarkBoard.com for continuing coverage of Harrison's recruitment.


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