Rising Jr. Harold Drawing Top Interest

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Rising junior Eli Harold missed most of his sophomore season due to a fractured knee, but that hasn’t kept top programs from expressing high interest. The Ocean Lakes (Virginia Beach, VA) star defensive end/wide receiver appreciates the early interest, but he hasn’t gotten caught up in the attention.

“Virginia Tech is looking at me. There is West Virginia. I’ve talked to Coach [Chris] Beatty a lot. Florida came in and the coach said he’d be back for me next year. UNC is in there. Those are the four schools that have shown the most interest so far,” Harold said.

“The schools I named basically said they would be back for me. All of them said basically they were going to offer me. I’m still the same Eli, though, and I’m going to keep pushing and working hard. I’m not going to let the attention blow me up.”

Harold doesn’t plan on committing early, saying he would like to go through the process and see what schools offer officially. He was impressed with a visit he made to Virginia Tech, but for now he claims no favorites.

“I really like Tech,” said Harold, who attended Tech’s February 27 Prospect Day earlier this year. “My visit there was a good experience. They talked about grades. I talked with Tyrod and those guys. It was a good experience to get up there and get a look at the campus.”

Harold, who stands at 6-4 and weighs 215 pounds, has rehabilitated the injury that kept him out for all but two games last season.

“I’m back at 100-percent in my eyes,” said Harold, who tallied 3 1/2 sacks and a forced fumble in the two games he did play in 2009. “I’m running hard and cutting good. I’ve got my legs back. I actually feel like the leg I injured is a lot stronger than it was before.”

Harold was pleased to take part in the Nike Camp in Blacksburg earlier this month. It was his first real competition since the injury.

“I believe I did good,” he said. “When I did the drills, I did a good job. I took in the coaching they gave me. I feel it helped me a lot. They told me to use my speed to get past the bigger guys, which I did. I won two out of the four one-on-ones I did. I need to work on my power, so I’m staying in the weight room to do that.”