Monday, June 3, 2013

Recruit Breakdown: Brandon Harris

Ceiling: 9               Ranking: 7               Floor: 4.5

School: Parkway (Bossier City, LA)

Size: 6'2" - 190 lbs.

Composite: 4 Star, #3 Dual, #235 Overall

247: 4 Star, 94, #1 Dual, #98 Overall

Rivals: 4 Star, 5.8, #5 Dual, #186 Overall

Scout: 3 Star, #24 Dual

Favorites: LSU (Commit)

Other Notable Offers: Alabama, Auburn, LSU, OSU, South Carolina, Arizona St, Arkansas, Baylor, Indiana, Miss St, Nebraska, North Carolina, Texas A&M

Has very good arm strength. When able to set his feet he gets get zip on the ball, very little hang, gets to the receiver fast. When able to step into clean pocket he can make any throw. Capable of putting touch on the pass, but again, needs to have clean pocket to step into. Can do a good job of keeping proper shoulder angle and ladder growth (this is when you see a QB do quick, choppy steps, essentially pulling themselves forward while maintaining a consistent foot width) up into the pocket, waiting for receiver to get open. Very good short and intermediate passer when he is able to throw quickly with timing, typically off a 1 or 3 step drop. Good ability to escape pressure due to acceleration and speed.

Good athlete who is capable of running designed QB runs. Quick first step to get north/south quickly, can slice through the line or around the edge when defenders don’t maintain responsibility. Good open field speed that can make a long run if safeties cheat out of center field.

While he is able to escape pressure, when under duress and on the run his mechanics start to break down. His release point gets lower and he starts throwing more like a baseball. His footwork begins to breakdown as he doesn’t maintain shoulder angle or proper stride width to throw accurately or immediately without resorting to baseball throw. Doesn’t use body on these throws, tends to wind up and arm throw it. Could work on his accuracy and touch on the deep ball, his depth is also inconsistent. Often fails to reset feet and shoulders after play action, leaves body open and slings. This will tend to force balls to sail. Low release point as well. Tends to aim very short passes, such as swing passes or short dump offs.

Not a lot of wiggle as a runner, very straight line with long strides. At times he carries the ball a bit loosely. Doesn’t have the lateral mobility or stop/go quickness to be a true running threat most plays. Better when setting up pass with run or getting RB going and only occasionally keeping.

For as gifted of a runner as Harris is, the possibilities become even more enticing when you realize he has the capability of throwing every ball in any offense. A very strong arm, he throws the ball with a lot of zip and has very little wasted air time. This allows him the throw the ball into very tight windows on short hitches and slants. He is at his best on quick timing routes where his footwork and mechanics have been committed to memory and he isn’t forced to improvise. His ability to throw in an occasional 5-step drop, deep out or post threatens the defense it all levels of the field. Could get a bit better touch on his deep ball, and better recognition of coverage deep could really help him.

While he has great speed, he doesn’t necessarily have great quickness. He does accelerate well, but because of his long strides and stiff hips, he won’t make many people miss at the next level. He isn’t the type of dual-threat QB that you want to lean on to run the ball, instead, he should be used more to keep the defense honest. Could benefit from shortening his stride, particularly behind the line of scrimmage, and getting a little more shake to get defenders off balance. A shorter step would also benefit him for throwing off the run, which he currently struggles at. While on the move, his mechanics tend to suffer. He looks more like a short stop charging an infield grounder and trying to get a runner out at first. Harris, not the tallest QB already, allows his release point to drop. He tends to open up his shoulders and sling the ball with his arm. This hurts his accuracy, both from side-to-side, as well as high and low (though he still gets good velocity on it). He also fails to reset after play action or after finding open space. While he is capable of stepping into a clean pocket, he doesn’t show much of stepping up to avoid the rush, and when pressured he doesn’t look to buy time and then reset when he gets there.

Brandon Harris should be a QB at the next level. With his arm strength and ability to make every throw, there should be no reason to move him, though with his straight line speed he could become a decent WR. His ball comes off his arm with a lot of zip and very little wasted air time. Because of this he is able to connect on lots of short and intermediate timing routes, and occasionally throw fade type passes on WR double moves. Allowing him to run about 5 times again to maintain the threat of his legs, but not rely on them, would be beneficial. His best system would be a read option spread offense that allows Harris to primarily get the ball into the hands of other playmakers, but threaten the field when the defense forces him to. Harris reminds me a lot of former Oregon QB Darron Thomas, and a similar offense is the best fit for Harris.

Harris has a very high ceiling, but will need to work on some things to reach it. Still, in the right offense, he should be able to find success, but an occasional poor throw could lead him to be a high completion but turnover prone until his footwork is improved. If he can't improve on his footwork, his inconsistencies may be enough to keep him off the field as a QB despite his talent and high ceiling.


  1. "Size: 6'5" - 290 lbs."

    Is anybody looking at him as lineman?

    1. They should be, because that's awfully close to Jamarco Jones's measurables...

      I'm editing that by the way, if people see this comment and don't get it.