USC football coach Shane Beamer must think this weekend’s official visit from DE/TE Nyck Harbor (6-5 225) of Washington, DC is pretty important. During his Tuesday press conference, Beamer reminded Gamecock fans they needed to be loud and energetic Saturday for the Georgia game, not just to help his players against the Bulldogs, but to impress a recruit who was coming in. By rule, Beamer couldn’t name the prospect, but Harbor is the one uncommitted prospect taking an official visit this weekend.
This visit is shaping up as a potential program changer should it lead to a commitment from Harbor, who is considered one of the nation’s top overall athletes and also an Olympic hopeful as a sprinter. We’re talking Marcus Lattimore and Jadeveon Clowney type of impact, someone besides a quarterback who can change the entire direction of a program. Beamer must think that much of Harbor since he’s been recruiting him for several years.
“Coach Beamer actually recruited Nyck when he was at Oklahoma as a freshman,” said Archbishop Carroll coach Robert Harris. “They’ve known about Nyck since they’ve come in the door. I’m sure the coaches love the fact that he’s so big and so fast. You don’t see that every day, you don’t find that everywhere. His length, with that kind of speed. Typically, the kind speed that Nyck displays, you see a guy about 5-foot-8, maybe 5-foot-7 to maybe 6-foo, 6-foot-1, moving like that.”
Harbor is returning to USC for what will be his third visit, and he’s bringing both of his parents with him. There’s no doubt, Harris said, that Harbor already is comfortable with the surroundings in Columbia.
“For Nyck, I think he loves the facilities, he loves the campus,” Harris said. “He’s gone to camp there, so he’s seen it. He’s toured the buildings that he’s interested in his major. He just loves the overall feel. They’ve made both Nyck and his family feel like family. They’ve fostered that relationship very well over the months.”
Harbor has an official visit to Michigan set up for next weekend. He’s also talked about an official visit to LSU the weekend of October 7th, but his coach said he was not aware of that being a definite at this point. Harbor also has on his short list Georgia, Maryland, Miami and Southern Cal. He has already visited Maryland and Southern Cal unofficially.
“He’s still feeling them all out,” the coach said. “He’s still enjoying the process of recruiting. He’s going on his visits. He’s not leaning one way or the other at the moment. He’s just enjoying the process.”
Harbor’s speed on the football field leads to a lot of sacks and tackles. His speed on the track could eventually lead to Olympic gold medals. At all of the schools he’s considering, the track program will weigh heavily on his decision.
“It’s probably going to come down for the best situation for his track career as well as his football career,” Harris said. “I know mom wants him somewhere close to home. That’s going to be a factor as well. It’s just going to come down to where he feels like he’s going to get the best opportunity to progress in the direction that he wants to as a player.”
Last season on defense, Harbor totaled 44 tackles with 31 tackles for loss and 17.5 sacks. On offense, he had 16 catches for 290 yards and 5 touchdowns. His team actually has a game Saturday, but he is going to miss that, with his coach’s permission, to take the official visit which will allow him to see two of his top teams go head-to-head.