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May 23, 2007

Harper breaks down top five

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Just two short months ago Jacksonville (Fla.) Trinity Christian running back Jamie Harper was being mentioned as one of the most underrated prospects in the Sunshine State. Not only is he no longer one of the state's best kept secrets, with over fifteen offers to date, he has become one of the marque prospects in the southeast.

The 6-foot, 210-pound back has narrowed his list to a final five earlier this week. However, before getting to that number, he spoke of all the programs which came out to visit his high school over the course of spring football.

"There was Florida State, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Tennessee, South Carolina, Clemson," said Harper. "A little bit of everybody."

When asked who has extended offers, Harper replied, "Just about everybody I named plus Wisconsin, Minnesota, Central Florida. That's about all I can think of off the top of my head."

Although it is still early in the process, he already has a narrowed it down to a top five of Clemson, South Carolina, Florida State, Florida and Georgia.

He then spoke in depth about those five programs.

Clemson: "Playing time is looking real good there seeing how CJ Spiller was able to play as a freshman. If you're good enough to play, you're going to see the field. I've met coach (Dabo) Swinney, he's a good guy. I haven't had a chance to meet the head coach (Tommy Bowden) yet, but I hear he is a great coach to play for. And then Kyle Parker is already committed to them and the two of us have been friends for a while and he tells me that it's a great place."

South Carolina: "Steve Spurrier is a great coach from his history at Florida and then going to the NFL. Seeing what he's doing there, he has them coming around. They recruited one of my good friends, (White running back) Eric Baker. He likes them and has good things to say about what they can do for you up there."

Florida State: "I grew up a FSU fan. I loved Warrick Dunn as a kid and still love him to this day. A lot of major guys came out of there. I went there this spring and got to see the campus and I like coach (Dexter) Carter. He's down to earth. He's such a great guy. He's been my favorite coach to talk to this year."

Florida: "The campus is beautiful and they have one of the best coaching staffs in football. I like that it's close and they have an exciting offense. When I was there for the spring game I saw some of their players from last year getting their rings and the talent level is crazy. If you can shine there, you can play on the next level."

Georgia: "I don't know too much about them except that they have a great Christian head coach (Mark Richt) and that really stands out to me"

He hasn't been out on the road much visiting college campuses, at least not yet.

"I took an unofficial visit to Florida State. I saw the facilities and the campus and it's a great place. Other than that I went to the first quarter of the Florida spring game, but I couldn't stay. I had to leave for a AAU basketball game. I got to talk to coach (Greg) Mattison while I was there and see some of the players with their championship rings."

As for his summer camp plans, Harper had this to say, "I'm not too sure. There's a good chance I'll go to the Clemson camp with my good friend (Tiger commitment) Kyle Parker."


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