Although he’s been committed to Florida State since February, Thomasville (Ga.) Thomas County Central four-star defensive end Gabriel Harris made his way to Columbus for Ohio State’s first one-day camp of the summer last week.
“I haven’t ever been to Ohio, so I wanted to come out here and see what it’s like,” Harris told BuckeyesNow and other reporters gathered at the Woody Hayes Athletic Center on Wednesday afternoon. “I like (former Buckeyes defensive end) Chase Young, that’s my favorite player. I like the school, too.”
The 6-foot-4 and 237-pound Harris had the opportunity to work out for and meet one-on-one with defensive line coach Larry Johnson, who impressed upon him the value of working hard in everything you do.
“The first thing I did was sit down with him and got some knowledge from him,” Harris said. “He’s not the type of person who is going to throw you an offer over the phone. He’s going to sit down with you, watch you work and then see what you can do, and then he’ll throw you the offer if he wants to.”
Harris – who is considered the 16th-best defensive lineman and No. 81 prospect overall in the class of 2023 – was matched up with some of the better offensive tackles at the camp and had no problems reaching the quarterback in one-on-one drills. He walked away from the camp without an offer, but still believes he showed a few things that could eventually lead to one.
“I feel like I showed my speed and my hands, things I’ve been working on like my strength,” Harris said. “The camp was great. I really enjoyed it.”
Harris lives just 45 minutes from Tallahassee and grew up rooting for the Seminoles, so his pledge to Florida State shouldn’t come as a surprise. But asked if an offer from Ohio State would change anything, Harris said it “probably” would.
“It would mean a lot,” Harris said. “I like being in Ohio. I like the feeling of it. I like the weather out here, too.”
Harris has a number of visits scheduled for this summer, including Alabama, Georgia and Texas. He also plans to return to campus for an unofficial visit for the Sept. 11 game against Oregon, so perhaps he’ll get an offer then.
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