DYERSVILLE, Iowa – I received my first live look at Juan Harris this May at The Opening Chicago Regional. The Class of 2017 defensive tackle impressed me with his explosion off the ball against older players.
I watched Harris for the first time in pads Friday night here at Beckman High School where his fifth-ranked West Union North Fayette Valley team fell, 14-6, to the home team. The 6-foot-3, 375-pound (not a typo) Iowa pledge played defensive tackle and both offensive tackle spots.
EVALUATION: The first thing you notice about Harris is his size. He dwarfs everyone else on the field.
I was afforded a heads up that he’s more than big body after seeing him abuse Michigan State verbal Matthew Allen (’16) and others at The Opening. Harris jetted off the ball and around blockers time and time again.
I was interested to see how that unusual athleticism for a big guy would translate into game action with him wearing pads. He answered that here by showing he still can explode off the ball even with equipment on him.
Harris looked better on offense than defense but that was because he couldn’t be avoided. Beckman spend most of the night running plays away from him on the other side of the ball.
Even with a game-plan designed to stay away from him, Harris broke through the line with ease and collapsed any chance of there being a pocket for Beckman. Everything was flushed to the edges and the home team found very little success moving the ball.
Harris also did his job as a blocker. He jumped back and forth between right and left tackle and steamrolled everything in front of him. But without any threat of a passing game, Beckman just threw just about everyone in the box to slow North Fayette Valley.
I came away impressed again with Harris’ speed and agility in such a large package. He continued to show off unusual natural talent.
Harris still needs to get himself in better condition to improve his stamina that he’ll need at the next level. When he jumps into a college strength and conditioning program, look out. The ceiling his very high.
Here’s a look at the game film of Harris against Beckman: