Wichita (Kan.) Northwest star athlete Chris Harper has been a busy man this summer.
After attending camp at Kansas State and then spending time on an unofficial visit at Missouri, Harper, who is the No. 2 player in the Sunflower State, took weekend unofficial visits to both Illinois and Notre Dame. The visits definitely left a lasting impression for the 6-foot-2, 231-pound athlete.
"We went to Missouri, and then we went on up to Illinois and then to Notre Dame," Harper said. "We were supposed to go up to Michigan, but we just didn't make it. I don't know if I'm going to go up there or not soon. I might use one of my official visits for up there."
After being impressed with his time in Columbia, Harper said he also enjoyed his visits to Champaign and South Bend. The Fighting Illini have offered him a scholarship to play quarterback – just like Missouri and Kansas State – and the Fighting Irish seemingly moved closer toward offering him at receiver after his time with the coaches and players.
Harper said he came away very impressed with Illinois coach Ron Zook.
"I like the staff a lot, especially coach Zook," Harper said.
"I also liked Mike Locksley. He's real cool. They want me at quarterback, and they said I fit their style of offense and everything. I went around campus, and I didn't know it was that big. They have 37,000 kids there. That's a pretty big place. But when I first got to town, I would have never thought there were that many kids at the school. When I got to town there was nothing there and it kind of reminded me a lot of being in Kansas with a bunch of farms around. But then you get to campus and see that it's a really nice place."
Harper said the quarterback situation at Illinois is also pretty appealing.
"Right now they don't have a quarterback in my class," he said. "And Juice Williams is about to be a sophomore. They really only have three quarterbacks there, so that's something that would give me a chance to compete."
When he was in South Bend, Harper was showed around campus by Irish defensive coordinator Corwin Brown, quarterback Demetrius Jones and receiver George West.
"It was really nice there," Harper said. "Notre Dame and Missouri would be the two nicest schools that I've been to when talking about facilities. They gutted out the old stuff and remodeled everything. I went around campus, and it's a smaller school. That's not necessarily a bad thing. They've only got about 8,000 students. The coaches were real cool, too.
"They were talking to me about playing receiver. Coach Brown said I would have a good chance to play early because they don't have too many guys that can do so many different things with the ball like I can. I was with the coaches for half the day and then other half I was with George West and Demetrius Jones. Demetrius told me he liked it up there, but he wasn't pressuring me. He knew about the situation with me wanting to play quarterback because he went through it also with the recruiting process."
Harper said he thinks he's closer to earning an Irish offer now.
"Coach Brown said he's been trying to get me an offer for a while," he said. "Coach I (Rob Ianello) was also talking about it, too. Charlie Weis was out of town for something, and he's supposed to get with me some time here soon and talk about the offer."
Up next for Harper is the tour with Brian Butler of Potential Players. He'll be on the tour with Arthur Brown, Bryce Brown and several other of the top players in the Sunflower State. They've got scheduled stops at LSU, Tulane, Florida State, Florida, Miami, Georgia Tech, Georgia, Alabama, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
After that, though, Harper hopes to have his list reduced to around five teams before his senior season starts. That way he can manage the attention and the calls from the college coaches. At this point three teams for sure seemingly have secured themselves spots in his top five.
"Right now, the teams that want me at quarterback will be there," he said. "And at this point, that's just Kansas State, Missouri and Illinois. I don't know about the others yet."