What Hyde Leadership Academy (CT) all-purpose athlete Willie Harriott may lack in size, he makes up for with tremendous speed, agility, and toughness. A wide receiver last season as a junior, the 5-9, 180 pound Harriott will be the full-time running back next season for Head Coach John Acquavita.
“Last summer, he ran a 4.3 flat in the 40 at Florida State’s summer camp, and I think that time really helped to put him on the national recruiting scene,” Acquavita said. “He plays defensive back, wide receiver, and running back every now and then. He’ll be our featured running back for us next year. Last year we decided to open up the offense and put him at wide receiver. He had 840 yards of receiving in his first year at wide receiver. He did really well. He made the New Haven Register first-team all-state team last year, which is really something for a junior. He also made the All-Metropolitan team, which covers New Jersey, Connecticut, and New York.”
A north/south runner, Harriott possesses the extra gear needed to simply blow by defenders.
“Willie is a burst guy,” Acquavita said. “He’s got that extra gear. There was one kick-off return that he had last year, where he is running and then, all of the sudden, he just goes into an extra gear. It’s amazing to see. He sees an opening and just takes off. He’s a straight ahead type of runner.”
On the next level, college coaches see Harriott as an athlete with cornerback and wide receiver being the two most talked about positions. Most programs envisioned him strictly as a cornerback in the early going, however more and more are beginning to talk about wide receiver.
“Everyone started recruiting me as a cornerback, but more and more schools are talking about wide receiver too,” Harriott said. “As long as I’m on the field, I don’t care.”
Harriott’s boasts ten offers, with a mix of Big Ten, Big East, and ACC programs involved.
“I have nine or ten offers,” Harriott said. “Let me see…Syracuse, Penn State, Indiana, U-Conn, Virginia Tech, the University of Virginia, Maryland, Iowa, Rutgers, and Boston College. All of them are written offers.”
Harriott had an affinity for the Florida programs – especially Florida State and Miami – earlier in the recruiting process. While he says he still likes those schools, the fact that none have yet offered has Harriott looking in different directions.
As for any current favorites, the Connecticut standout admits there are a few however refused to provide any clues...
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