The wild recruiting saga surrounding Zach Harrison has come to a conclusion — and it’s a great one for the Ohio State Buckeyes. With Big Ten foes Michigan and Penn State vying for the Lewis Center, Ohio star, recent weeks have seen all three of the schools jostling for position in Harrison’s recruitment.
But on Wednesday, Harrison made his college decision known: he will be staying in Central Ohio, and attending The Ohio State University.
Harrison is not only the top-rated defensive player in this Buckeye class, but the top overall prospect. His 247sports composite grade of .9970 is slightly better than fellow OSU signee Garrett Wilson’s .9922; Wilson is one of the top wide receivers in the class.
Harrison is listed as the fourth-best player nationally in the 2019 class according to 247 Sports’ Composite Rankings, as well as Ohio’s top-rated recruit. The grades that Harrison has are backed by an astounding body of work. The 6-foot-51⁄2 , 243 pounder is a selectee for Nike’s The Opening and the U.S. Army All-American Bowl, Harrison has had the eyes and ears of top programs across the country. But in the end, it was a fight amongst three of the top programs in the Big Ten.
The feeling was that Harrison was looking to go away from home for his college career, but the announcement that Ryan Day would be the Buckeyes’ new head coach changed the plans for the Central Ohio native.
What does it mean for OSU moving forward, now that Harrison is signed? Well, let’s take a look at a snippet of his scouting report by our own Patrick Mayhorn:
[Scouting Report] The main thing that makes Zach so enticing, and the main thing you’ll see people talk about with Zach right now is his athleticism paired with his size. Harrison has the speed and mobility to play both ways for his high school, as a defensive end and as a wide receiver (!!!). He has the speed and mobility to be an elite track runner (10.78 100 meter personal record). Now, what happens if you put that kind of athletic ability into a 6-foot-6, 245 pound teen that could still add muscle to his frame without really losing any of that ability?
He looked like an extremely talented teenager who doesn’t quite know what to do with all that talent yet. There were flashes of that limitless ceiling when he would blow past some poor offensive tackle, or just run right through anyone in his way, but he was never really consistently destructive at Olentangy Orange.
His hand technique is okay, not great, and for the most part, he’s beating guys because he’s faster than them. That won’t cut it at the next level. However, because of his awesome talent, and because he doesn’t really have any bad habits (he doesn’t really have any habits), he’s the perfect prospect for Larry Johnson to mold and form into an unstoppable pass rusher. I think one summer with Mickey Marotti and Larry Johnson would do wonders for Harrison, and luckily for, well, everyone involved, he’s gonna get three. That could produce some pretty devastating results.
If visuals are your fancy, take a look at some highlights from Harrison’s time at Olentangy Orange High School. In fact, these highlights are just his sacks.