In this installment of the Recruiting Notebook, we meet an incredibly athletic player whose transition from basketball to football should be seamless: Middle Village (NY) Christ The King Regional DT Jared Harrison-Hunte.
It’s been rare that Miami has ventured to the Empire State, or northeast in general, for players. Hurricanes from years past such as LB Leon Williams (New York), OL Bryant McKinnie (New Jersey via JUCO), and OL Brett Romberg and Sherko Haji-Rasouli (both Canadian) fit the bill. And in the 2019 class, Miami looked north again to fill holes along both lines.
After getting 4-star DT Jason Blissett and 3-star OT Adam ElGammal to both sign during the Early Signing Period in December, Miami had to regroup after missing out on a couple other linemen. In their search to find quality players to add to the roster, the Canes looked to ElGammal’s HS teammate and Blissett’s good friend: DT Jared Harrison-Hunte.
A talented basketball player, Harrison-Hunte only transitioned to playing football — while still starting on Christ The King’s top-tier hoops squad — in the past couple of years. As an undersized (but very athletic) big man on the hardcourt, Harrison-Hunte’s athletic future would have been relatively limited. But, put that 6’4” 286lb frame on the gridiron, with the movement skills he has as a basketball player, and things have a very different look.
Though some converted basketball players get the label of being “soft” — not loving contact or being physical enough, especially at the point of attack — Harrison-Hunte doesn’t. He plays with a mean streak, and uses his lighting quickness to great advantage.
Throughout the early part of this cycle, even despite Miami having made moves with other NYC-natives, Harrison-Hunte seemed destined to go to Penn State, his longtime leaders. But, he didn’t sign there during the early period, which opened the door for Miami to bring him back to Coral Gables for a 2nd OV after the coaching change from Mark Richt to Manny Diaz. That trip, along with the peer-level recruiting from Blissett and ElGammal (and likely others) was enough to seal the deal and get Harrison-Hunte to commit to The U, which he did just before National Signing Day.
On the 247sports composite, Harrison-Hunte is a 3-star prospect, the #38 DT nationally in this class, #3 in the State of New York, and #519 recruit overall.
Harrison-Hunte signed with Miami over 24 other offers, a list which included such teams as Alabama (who wanted to get him on a late visit but Harrison-Hunte canceled that), Penn State, Ohio State and many more.
As a Player
There are 2 things that stand out about Harrison-Hunte: his size — 6’4” 286lbs — and freakish athleticism.
First, to be an interior lineman, size is a requirement. With good height and plenty of bulk, Harrison-Hunte has that covered. Add in some physical development and additional strength, which every player needs as they continue to progress, and Harrison-Hunte will be in good shape. He could easily add muscle to his frame, and if he were able to do that and keep his quickness, that would be great.
The other thing that stands out is Harrison-Hunte’s athleticism. As a basketball player at Christ The King — a powerhouse hoops program in NYC — Harrison-Hunte does some freakish things for a man his size. Like what? Like this:
Yeah. That’s your new DT, guys.
Now, obviously, for a converted Basketball player, Harrison-Hunte will need time to develop both strength and skill on the football field. He’s mostly a one-trick pony right now, using his size to overpower smaller, weaker opponents. And, while that works at the HS level (and in NYC where HSFB isn’t the strongest or best competition), that won’t work at Miami. So, that’s where Harrison-Hunte’s development will determine his ability to see the field for the Canes.
For additional good measure, here’s an eval of Williams by Brian Dohn of 247sports
Thick frame with great lower body strength. Carries 286 pounds like it is 260 pounds. Plus explosion and athleticism. Plays with a low center of gravity. Wins leverage battle because of his knee bend. Is powerful in the upper body and can collapse the pocket. Quick to disengage and make tackles within the tackle box at line of scrimmage. Fast hands. Good body control. Must increase ability to move laterally. Improved closing speed and consistency to run to the edge needed. Incorporating more moves – swim, rip, etc., -- instead of using power so much will make him tougher to block. Does not use combo moves often. Two- or three-year starter at mid- to high-level Power 5 school. Mid level NFL draft pick.
- Inexperience/relatively new to football
- lack of moves
- needs to add strength
Harrison-Hunte is a good get for Miami. He’s got good size, great athleticism, and will be working with Jess Simpson to develop his skills over the course of time. So, while he is a good get, his impact for the Canes will likely come further down the line, rather than in 2019 specifically.
Chance for a redshirt: 7/10
Harrison-Hunte would be at the top of the list of guys who could benefit from the “play in 4 games but still redshirt” rule. Get him a taste of the speed of things early, then work his butt off this year (and into next) to become a rotation guy at DT for the Canes. That’s the dream.
That’s it for this installment of The Recruiting Notebook.