Last summer, Viewmont High head football coach Scott Ditty offered a prediction about the Vikings’ then-junior left tackle Alex Harrison.
Ditty guessed that by the next year, Harrison, who at the time had one scholarship offer from Utah State, would be attracting a whole lot of attention from Pac-12 college football programs.
The 6-foot-5, 300-pound Harrison is now a senior and one of the most coveted recruits in the entire state as he prepares to enter his senior year.
He’s currently the top-rated offensive line prospect in Utah among incoming seniors, according to the major college football recruiting outlets.
ESPN, 247sports and Rivals have Harrison rated as a 3-star prospect. Harrison holds scholarship offers from Utah, Utah State, Brigham Young University, Southern California, Oregon, Washington State, Arizona State and Nebraska.
College coaches are quick to note Harrison’s size, strength and technique at left tackle, where he was in charge of protecting the blind side of last year’s starting quarterback, Dutcher Lines.
But up until three years ago, Harrison had played offensive line just once.
“That’s what’s kind of crazy is I’m getting recruited as an O-lineman when the first time I (really) played it was my sophomore year,” Harrison told the Standard-Examiner on Tuesday.
He mostly played defensive line in youth football. There, he could mow past offensive lineman simply because of his size. He still starts on both offensive and defensive line for Viewmont, something that he said won’t change as long as he’s there.
As far as turning from someone who didn’t know how to play offensive line into one of the top linemen in the state, the size was always there. He just needed technique.
“When I got moved to offense, I honestly didn’t really know how to play offense,” Harrison said.
He went to a training camp run by former Utah and Weber State head coach Ron McBride and learned the subtleties of playing offensive line: using the hips and hands more, movement, etc.
From there, repetition raised his level of play. Harrison still didn’t expect the college recruiting interest to reach the level it’s at now.
“Man it’s been crazy, I look back at this last 4-5 months and ... it’s always been a dream (to play college football) and I never expected I’d actually be here. Being here now, it’s kind of a ‘whoa’ feeling,” he said.
Most of his offers have rolled in since the start of the 2019 calendar year.
The massive amount of college contact has turned into dozens of letters sitting on his kitchen table and in his bedroom.
Most of the letters come from USC, Washington State and Washington, the latter of which hasn’t offered Harrison but is in contact with him.
Most of the actual contact (telephone, etc.) comes from Utah, USC, Oregon and Arizona State. He’s starting to hear more from UCLA and LSU as well, so there may be more than eight offers on the table once it’s all said and done.
Utah has backed off of the letter campaign a little because Harrison took in a few Utes spring practices earlier this year. He’s visited Utah State and BYU, and plans to visit Oregon in July.
Harrison also visited USC for junior day in March and recently returned from a visit to Arizona State. While in Arizona, he and his mother stopped by Glendale, where she was stationed in the Air Force.
Many highly touted recruiting prospects will announce a verbal commitment before their senior seasons so as to get the decision off their mind and focus better on the field.
As far as making a decision and taking official visits, Harrison’s waiting until after the high school season ends.
That’s because he’s taking some responsibility to help get the Vikings’ offensive line ready to roll once they open their season Aug. 16 at home against a Northridge squad that’s likely to have a lot of offensive firepower this year.
“Right now, I kind of made it clear to a lot of colleges that this year’s team is a little younger up front than past years,” Harrison said. “So there’s a couple inexperienced guys there ... and our No. 2s, none of them are seniors, most of them are sophomores and some are even freshmen.”
Maybe it’s a little ironic, then, that on Tuesday, Harrison was helping build a fence on a farm in West Bountiful where he’s working this summer for a family friend.
WEBER HIGH ALUM BISCHOFF SIGNS AT USU
Utah State announced it has added Weber High alumnus Carson Bischoff to its men’s basketball roster.
Bischoff played a year at Treasure Valley Community College in Idaho where he finished second on the team in scoring, averaging 19.7 points per game, to go with a team-high 6.6 rebounds, 2.6 assists and 1.6 steals.
As a senior at WHS, Bischoff averaged 15.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
“We are thrilled to announce Carson will be joining our program,” USU head coach Craig Smith said in a press release. “Carson is a lights-out shooter that really knows how to play. He really fits our program’s culture, as he is highly competitive and is all about the team.”
Utah State football also announced the signing of Davis High tight end Jack Rigby.
Rigby verbally committed to the Aggies in February and will serve a two-year mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints before heading to Logan.
In basketball, Layton Christian guard Micah Petty signed with the University of Maine at Fort Kent on Tuesday. Petty averaged 10.5 points, 4.1 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 3.3 steals while helping the Eagles win the 2A state championship this winter. Maine-Fort Kent competes in the United States Collegiate Athletic Association, a governing body consisting of 81 colleges mostly in the eastern half of the US.