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Monday, July 29, 2013
Damien Harris commits to Michigan

By Tom VanHaaren
ESPN.com

Running back Damien Harris of Berea, Ky./Madison Southern committed Monday to Michigan, giving the Wolverines their fourth commitment for his class and second top-20 player for 2015 in as many days.

Harris is the No. 20 overall player in the ESPN Jr. 300 and will provide Michigan with another solid option at running back.

The Wolverines landed No. 3-ranked receiver George Campbell of Tarpon Springs, Fla./East Lake on Sunday.

Madison Southern High coach Jon Clark said Michigan is getting a big, multidimensional back in the 5-foot-11, 210-pound Harris.

"He's a lot bigger than people think. He's not a small speed back, either," Clark said. "He's an excellent receiver out of the backfield, he is a smart player and he understands defensive schemes."

Harris wasn't able to attend Michigan's barbecue, where Campbell decided to commit, because his team had football camp. But after seeing Michigan get a big-time receiver in his class, Clark said Harris knew it was time for him to also decide.

"He took the time to see what else was out there, and he honestly fell in love with Michigan when he first saw it," Clark said. "He gave himself the chance to see other schools, but he got close with the Michigan staff and everything going on around the program. With the players and recruits they're getting, he feels like it's a place he could play for a national championship."

Clark also mentioned running backs coach Fred Jackson as a major draw to Michigan for Harris.

The most recent big running back Michigan landed was Derrick Green in the 2013 class. Green was the No. 5-ranked running back in his class and No. 38 overall. Harris already is ranked higher as No. 20 overall and the No. 3 running back. He is the highest-ranked back Michigan has drawn since 2006 and is Michigan's second ESPN Jr. 300 commit for the 2015 class.

Other top prospects could promptly follow for Michigan, as it's natural top players will want to play with other top recruits.

Defensive back Shaun Crawford (Lakewood, Ohio/St. Edward) has been public about naming Michigan his leader, though he has said he wants to wait until his season starts.

The No. 1 ranked prospect in 2015, Jashon Cornell (St. Paul, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) also has taken notice of Michigan's success. Cornell will be visiting Michigan for the Notre Dame night game during the season.