January 13, 2008

Harper updates status

With rumors swirling around about the status of four-star quarterback Chris Harper, Duck Sports Authority checked in with the Wichita, Kansas standout. While he won't choose his college destination until closer to Letter-of-Intent Day, Harper has a leader for his services.

Duck fans suffered through uncertainty this week as a rumor was brought to Duck Sports Authority from an outside source for verification which insisted Harper had dropped Oregon from consideration for his services.

"I don't know how that rumor got started. Nobody talked to me about it. The same as like I told Jeremy Crabtree (Rivals.com recruiting analyst) before, Oregon is my top team right now."

Harper's primary recruiter for the Ducks is offensive coordinator Chip Kelly, and Kelly is a big reason Oregon is high on his list. Watching what Dennis Dixon was able to do in the spread run by the Ducks also has his attention.

"I really like Coach Kelly and the way he brought Dennis Dixon along. I wanted to meet Dixon on my visit but didn't quite get a chance."

With 600 yards rushing for nine TD's and 950 yards passing for ten more as well as starting at cornerback on defense, Harper has the type of athleticism to have teams projecting him into multiple slots for his college career.

"The Ducks are recruiting me as a quarterback. Other schools are talking about running back, wide receiver, and quarterback too, but Oregon we have only talked about quarterback. I played just about everywhere on my high school team. Besides offense I was also a cornerback and had a few picks this year."

Besides Oregon, all the teams on Harper's final list are from the Midwest including Kansas State, Missouri, Illinois and Notre Dame. The Ducks first caught Harper's attention based upon the old "It's a small world…" axiom.

"The reason Oregon was first on my list was because a quarterback coach I have known for a long time knows Chip Kelly and has a lot of respect for him."

Even though it's been a dead period for college coaches to contact recruits, Harper has stayed in touch by initiating the calls on his own.

"I've been calling the coaches and checking in with them just to see what they're thinking even though they can't call me right now."

Harper will announce sometime closer to National Letter-of-Intent day on February 6th, although he's not exactly sure when that will be.

"I'm not sure when I'm going to commit but when I know for sure I'll do it. It will probably be closer to signing day. I'm going to have all the coaches who are still on my list come in to make a 'final pitch' or whatever you want to call it."

Duck Sports Authority will keep track of this Wichita, Kansas standout in the weeks leading up to LOI day.

Ed. Note: Every year I interview a number of recruits and always a few stick out. This recruiting cycle there have been two so far, Nick Cody and now Chris Harper. Cody has been remarkable because of his maturity and unflagging enthusiasm for the Ducks. Harper stands out to me because he was candid yet courteous and respectful and had his decision-making process thought-out in a very mature manner.

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