In this installment of The Recruit Notebook, we meet a local standout who made the wise decision to stay away from a rival but instead play for the hometown Canes: S Jalen Harrell.
As a matter of habit and intentional engagement, Miami begins every cycle looking for the best local players. This is maybe most evident at the skill positions on offense and defense, as there are a TON of players locally who fit that bill.
When looking at DBs in 2020, the Canes did just that. Back when this class were HS juniors, Miami made the normal rounds offering scholarships to the top prospects. And in that time, one of those offers was extended to then-Miami (FL) Central DB Jalen Harrell. (His teammate at the time Henry Gray was also extended an offer, which he used to commit to, and then decommit from Miami).
In the spring before his senior year, Harrell elected to leave Central’s powerhouse team and transfer to another HSFB power: Hialeah (FL) Champagnat Catholic. That’s the same school that Gregory Rousseau attended (among many others who have gone to P5 schools) so it’s a known commodity in recruiting circles. And after Harrell transferred to Champagnat he made his college commitment: to Florida State.
Though he was committed elsewhere, Miami continued to communicate with Harrell over the course of months. There wasn’t much movement here for a while...until Harrell decommmitted from a tanking Florida State in October. In the days following that move, Harrell took an unofficial visit to Miami, and then later official visits to Georgia Tech and Miami in consecutive weeks in November.
After thinking over his options following his OVs, Harrell committed to Miami the day after Thanksgiving. And, in doing so, he added a big physical presence to Miami’s 2020 recruiting class, and secured one of FSU’s most highly rated recruits for their own recruiting class. Win-win, if you ask me.
On the 247sports composite, Harrell is a 4-star prospect, the #22 S nationally in this class, #38 in the State of Florida, and #236 recruit overall.
Harrell committed to Miami over offers from Florida State, Georgia Tech, and Arkansas from his list of 17 scholarship offers.
As a player
The first thing you notice about Harrell is how big he is. At 6’2” 190lbs, he’s very physically developed, and looks like he could add plenty more muscle to his already-chiseled frame. Harrell is now what Amari Carter was when he was coming out of HS size wise, and you see where Carter’s body has gone since then. A similar developmental path for Harrell is entirely possible, if he wants that.
Harrell’s height is a positive in pass coverage. He isn’t overmatched by taller receivers, and has the length and leaping ability to be a factor down the field at the point of the catch.
In the course of his HS career, Harrell has played both CB and S. He’s got the ability to play in space, in coverage, and in run support. In Miami, Harrell will be either a S or add a bit more weight and transition down to STRIKER. That really comes down to his physical/muscular development moving forward, but Harrell has the skills and athleticism to be an impact player at either spot.
- Muscular development
- No defined position
- Passable but not GREAT in coverage
Miami returns the top 3 players at Safety, a talented underclassman, and the backup-turned-starter at STRIKER. Harrell could be a backup or rotation player at either position while having a major role on special teams in 2020.
Chances for a Redshirt: 2/10
Harrell has the physical development, pedigree, and talent to be a day 1 contributor for the Canes. While his main impact will probably be made on special teams, Harrell should work his way into a starter by his sophomore year.
That’s it for this installment of the Recruiting Notebook.