Tampa (Fla.) Hillsborough junior linebacker Nigel Harris made his way to the University of Florida this past weekend to watch the Gators defeat Tennessee. He was very impressed by the atmosphere inside of Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
"It was really alive, you had to be ear-to-ear to speak to someone," Harris said. "The crowd was really into it. It was really loud. The game experience was enjoyable. It was fast down there. It was fun to watch them compete and get that win for Florida."
Prior to kickoff, Harris got to speak with some of the coaches inside of "The Swamp".
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"I chatted with some of the coaches," Harris said. "They just told me to enjoy the game. They also told me to watch the linebackers during pre-game warm-ups and to keep an eye on how they do things."
Harris paid close attention to how Will Muschamp and his staff used the linebackers in the 33-23 victory over the Volunteers.
"I like how their linebackers play in a three linebacker set," Harris said. "They have a Will linebacker that they allow to run kind of free and make plays, for them it was Jelani Jenkins, and I like how they let him play. He gets to play fast and just get to the ball. He can drop back or come up and make the hit."
Saturday didn't mark the first time that Harris has dealt with the Gators. He said that he has been hearing from them regularly and is building a strong relationship with his primary recruiter.
"So far the best relationships I have built is with Coach (Derek) Lewis," Harris said. "He has just told me that I am high on their chart for linebackers. He said that they have me high on their chart."
According to the 6-foot-1, 194-pound linebacker, Florida is a school that will be in the picture throughout the process.
"I did grow up liking the Gators and I would like to play for them, for any SEC school," Harris said. "At the end of the day, that was one of my team's growing up but when it comes to making a decision on where to play I have to look at more than just that. I have to make sure I find the right place for me."
Prior to visiting Florida, Harris had also attended a game at South Florida earlier this season. He was impressed by the hometown team and believes they are heading in the right direction.
"Their environment wasn't quite like the Gators," Harris said. "They are a younger school and still trying to build that tradition. Overall, they played pretty well and I got to know their coaches a bit better."
As for upcoming trips, Harris said he has made no definitive plans.
Harris reports offers from Alabama-Birmingham and Vanderbilt as well as interest from Alabama, Auburn, Boston College, Cincinnati, Clemson, Connecticut, Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Indiana, Iowa State, Louisville, Miami, Middle Tennessee, Minnesota, Mississippi State, Nebraska, N.C. State, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Ole Miss, Oregon, Purdue, Rutgers, South Carolina, South Florida, Stanford, Tennessee, Texas Tech, Toledo, Virginia, Washington State, and Wisconsin.