On Monday evening I sat in with Jordy Culotta on his regular "Off the Bench" show on 104.5 FM (WNXX) in Baton Rouge. We caught up with 2014 Parkway quarterback Brandon Harris, whose July 18th announcement date is nearing.
Here's a full transcript of the conversation, during which Harris talks about his relationship with LSU offensive coordinator Cam Cameron, where the Tigers stand in his recruitment and a change he's seen in Zach Mettenberger.
Jordy Culotta: The last time we talked to you momentum was picking up. You were about to make your visits and travel around the country. You stopped at Ohio State, went over to Texas A&M, went to Tuscaloosa, stopped off at Auburn and even came down to Baton Rouge. You’re a little bit closer to your annnouncement on July 18. How has the recruiting cycle been for you?
Brandon Harris: It’s been great. It’s been fantastic obviously. It’s unreal the people that you get to meet. These coaches are even fantastic in person rather than the guy that you see on television. Just to be able and sit there and talk football with Coach [Les] Miles, Coach [Gus] Malzahn, Coach [Urban] Meyer, the list goes on, Coach [Nick] Saban, all these guys, it’s unbeliable. It’s a very blessed opportunity.
JC: Do you know where you’re going to school yet, Brandon? I know that you’ve set the date for July 18th. You’ve made the rounds, talked to the coaches. Have you learned everything you need to know to make your decision?
BH: No. By the 18th I’ll know. I’m just trying to enjoy the rest of my summer and get better for my football team. When July 18th comes around, definitely I’ll know. It’s going to be a great day for everybody because my dad is not having to pay for my college, I’m able to go to college and I’m able to graduate in December and go and enroll in a great university. I think a lot of people get mixed up in (not realizing) I can’t go wrong with any decision I make. It’s hard to say no to a lot of colleges because they’re top-10 progtrams, they’ve won national championships, the list goes on. It’s very hard, but you’ve got to do what’s right for you, and you can’t get caught up with trying to make somebody else happy. You have to make yourself happy.
Ben Love: Brandon, I’m really glad to hear you talk about having a little fun this summer. With so many recruits, that process of recruiting wears on them and is really cumbersome. Have you been able to enjoy it a bit with talking to all those coaches, seeing the campuses, seeing the players … has this process been an enjoyable one for you?
BH: Honestly, if I told you that it hasn’t been nerve-wracking, I’d be lying to you. Because the quarterback situation and the quarterback position is kind of a domino effect. I’m pretty sure you’ve heard that term used a lot with different guys committing rignt away. You see a lot of these guys going to the Elite 11, they committed right away. Was there pressure on me from other universities, saying ‘Hey, we need to know something?’ Well yeah, but I look at it this way. If things didn’t work out for those schools, it wasn’t meant to be. If Texas A&M took Kyle Allen, it wasn’t meant for me to go to Texas A&M. And the colleges that are sticking around with me and are waiting it out through my process, and have probably cleared their boards, that means a lot to me. That’s just the difference between me and every other guy. I’m not going to commit just because all these other guys are. I set a date in mind, and I feel like God put that date in my mind for a reason, so I’m just going to stick by that date. If God gives you a sign and tells you that he wants you to commit on this day, you better follow after him because that’s the guy that rules over everything.
BL: Do you like the label of dual-threat quarterbackr do you just want to be labeled as a quarterback? Is there something about that game that lends itself to do with that or maybe is it something you could just do without?
BH: Honestly, and I’ve asked every guy this who’s rated me a dual-threat guy, what’s your definition of dual-threat? Normally the answer I get is ‘a guy who can use his legs.’ But my definition, dual-threat to me is a guy who looks to run first, maybe, and that’s not what I do. Anybody that’s come to watch me play knows that’s not what I look forward to do. And I tell my head coach this, ‘If you call a passing play, I’m going to look to execute that passing play and throw the ball down the field.’ I feel like I threw the ball better than every guy in the class. That’s just simply how I feel. One thing I want to get across is that I’m not an arrogant dude at all. I don’t like to come across as being arrogant, but I am a very confident guy. That’s just something I’ve been blessed with, and that’s how my whole family is. We’re confident in our ability to do different things. That’s how I look at it. Do I feel like I’m a dual-threat guy? It just depends on what definition you get on dual-threat. I’m blessed with great speed, great height and a great arm, so if that separates me from every other guy because I can use my legs and defenses have to play me honest, then absolutely I’ll take that tag.
BL: You’ve gotten to meet and know Cam Cameron. What do you think of LSU’s new offensive coordinator?
BH: The guy, I don’t know how many adjectives and compliments I can use after him, I’ve got a feeling Tiger Nation is absolutely going to love Coach Cameron. He’s a fantastic guy. When he tells you something, he means it. He and I have built a relationship since he got hired at LSU, along with me and Coach [Les] Miles.
Coach Cameron sat me down when I went to LSU and visited in May and pretty much showed me the offense. Everybody, I think, should like him and the offense that he brings after you see the strides that Zach Mettenberger has made over the spring and what he has done with Zach within a couple of months of working with him. Just imagine if he was able to work with all the other great quarterbacks. That’s not meant to down-talk any guys who used to coach quarterbacks in the past. It’s just saying he’s a guy who has coached in the National Football League and has showed on his resume that he can develop quarterbacks and develop guys like with me with [Antwaan] Randle El. There are several different guys that he’s developed. Joe Flacco comes to mind. He’s a great quarterback. That’s who Zach Mettenberger reminds me of because of his ability to throw the ball down the field and do different things. I think LSU fans should be very excited about what Coach Cameron brings to the table.
JC: The last time we talked on the radio you were really just kind of getting introduced to Coach Cameron, his style, his philosophy, his recruiting technique. You mentioned the relationship you two have formed since then. Where does that put LSU in the race to get your services and get the announcement on the 18th. I’m not asking if they’re the leader, but where do they stand as of July 1st?
BH: They sit very high, very well with me. I really like LSU’s program. They’re a team that’s a top-10 program every single year. I feel like they’re getting one of the best coordinators in the country. I know many people haven’t had the opportunity to speak with him, but the guy is just a fantatic guy, with his ability to just develop offenses and show different schemes that he wants to use this year. Man, it’s unreal. I don’t think a lot of people understand because in recent past LSU has never been known to have a team where the quarterback throws for 3,500 yards and has a running back that runs for 2,000 or 1,800 or 1,500 yards. But they’ve had All-American running backs in the past. I feel like Zach Mettenberger is an All-American quarterback, and you’ve got probably four or five All-American running backs with the receivers that LSU has, I’ve got a feeling they have the ability to be one of the top offenses in the country this upcoming season. If I were anybody, I’d be scared to kind of play them. It’s unreal, and I can’t wait for everybody to see what Coach Cameron’s plan is for LSU this year.
JC: Time for a quick answer here. Are you camping at LSU in mid-July?
BH: That’s a deal that me and my family are still trying to work out. That’s a decision that my dad has to make. I can’t give you that answer right now.