Signing Day surprise: Lincoln Prep defensive end commits to MU

02/06/2013 12:27 PM

05/16/2014 9:03 PM

Given the lengths to which recruiting is covered these days, it is practically unheard for a school to receive a letter of intent from a player generating zero buzz on National Signing Day. However, it appears that's exactly what happened with Missouri and Lincoln Prep senior Charles Harris. Harris, a 6-foot-4, 220 pound defensive end, became the 20th member of Missouri's recruiting class on Wednesday, when the school announced that it has received his letter of intent at 10:27 a.m. Harris does not have a Rivals.com profile, but his recruiting bio at mutigers.com says he is a multi-sport athlete who racked up 60 tackles, 12 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2012. He also caught 15 passes for 285 yards and five touchdowns while being named the Interscholastic League's defensive player of the year. Harris is also an accomplished basketball player, earning first-team all-league and player of the year honors as a junior in 2012. Lincoln Prep coach Lee Allen said Missouri's coaches are intrigued by the upside of Harris, who did not start playing football until his junior year of high school.  

“He's only been playing for two years, so he will just get better and better because he'll be able to focus solely on football," Allen said. "He could probably easily carry another 30 or so pounds. He's broad shouldered, tall and lanky. He can definitely carry the weight and remain explosive."

Allen said Harris had offers from Missouri Western, Central Missouri and Washburn, but Missouri jumped into the fray last week with a phone call from Missouri assistant Andy Hill.

"He said 'We'll come do the eyeball test,'" Allen said. "They looked at him, and after the meeting, coach Hill said Charles definitely has 'that' look."

Allen said Harris visited Missouri on Saturday, and Hill officially offered him a scholarship on Monday. Allen said Harris practically committed on the spot.

"He's flown under the radar with big schools, but athletically, you know he can play," Harris said. "They saw his athleticism and took a chance on him."

  Harris is the third Class of 2013 defensive end to commit to Missouri, joining Marcus Loud of Houston, Tex., and Nate Crawford of Pensacola, Fla.

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