December 16, 2008

Harris takes official after state title

Fresh off a WIAA Division I state championship, 2009 Badger verbal Shelby Harris was in Madison this past weekend on his official visit to Wisconsin.

The following is a question and answer with the Homestead High School product:

It's been awhile since we've been able to catch-up with you. For starters, is it possible to talk a little bit about your senior your season? How does it feel to be a state champion?

Harris: Oh man, it feels great. To win two state titles since I've been on varsity is a great accomplishment for our team. It really goes to show the progress of the program here at Homestead. We are continuously one of the top teams in the state each year and that's definitely something we pride ourselves on.

From an individual standpoint, do you feel you've been able to improve from your junior to senior season?

Harris: Yeah, definitely. I think I've improved because all the people around me have improved. Overall, every single player on our team got better, which in-turn forced me to get better as well. Also, I think opposing teams weren't able to game plan on me specifically because we were so talented.

You played Middleton in the WIAA state playoffs. Were you able to line-up against your future Badger teammate, Ryan Groy?

Harris: Actually, not so much. I was playing defensive tackle that game. But I was able to line-up in front of him a couple times. He's a big dude and is very mobile for his size. Yeah, he's really good.

Switching gears a little bit, could you give a brief recap of your official visit this weekend?

Harris: It was a lot of fun. We were able to talk to the coaches along with some of the professors. It was cool to go out on State Street. I was able to speak with strength coach John Dettman for quite some time. It was neat because we went over to Coach (Bret) Bielema's house for brunch. We were able to sit down with Coach B one-on-one and talk for awhile. After meeting everyone this weekend it's going to make the transition from high school to college a lot easier.

Who hosted you this weekend?

Harris: On Friday it was Josh Oglesby. On Saturday I had Marcus Cromartie.

How did you get along with those guys?

Harris: They are both a lot of fun. Obviously they are different from each other but they are both loads of fun. Both of them are really chill guys, they are really fun.

Were you able to strike-up any new relationships with some of the other verbal commitments?

Harris: I've known most of them. I had a really good time with Zac Matthias. Zac and I hung out with Chris Borland from Ohio. We just hung-out and talked about a lot of stuff. Some other guys that I had a great time with are Jordan Kohout, Ryan Groy, and Travis Frederick. We all had a chance to grow together a little bit over the long weekend.

Did this weekend help reaffirm your commitment? Does it make you feel more comfortable heading into your freshman season?

Harris: Yeah, it was awesome to know that these are the guys I'm going to spend the next four or five years of my life with. I now know that I have nothing to worry about. All of the guys coming in are really good people.

A lot of people say that you have a great frame to add weight. Did the coaching staff bring this up at all throughout the course of the weekend? Do they see you at defensive end or defensive tackle in the future?

Harris: I spoke with Coach (Charlie) Partridge about it. He said I'll be starting on the outside. When I asked him about how much weight I should try and put on he was like, "We don't need you to put on that much more weight. Just keep lifting and keep your speed up and you'll be fine for next year."

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