Updated 4 months ago by Kyle Scott
Damien Harris is committed to being a Michigan Wolverine.
"It's a dream come true," Harris said regarding his decision to play football at Michigan. "I loved Michigan as a kid. It was always my favorite team, but I never thought I'd get the opportunity to play there."
The Kentucky native first visited The Big House in June of 2012, which is also when he met his favorite player.
"When I was at camp last summer, Mike Hart was one of our running back coaches and I got to spend some individual time with him," Harris said. "That in itself was awesome, because looking up to a player and being taught and instructed by him and him teaching you what he knew and learned, I felt like that made me a better player."
Michigan offered the Madison Southern running back a scholarship during that trip. That's also when Harris knew he wanted to be in Ann Arbor.
"As soon as I got there I felt an instant connection," Harris admitted. "I fell in love with the coaches and the facilities."
But Harris wasn't ready to make the decision at that time. In fact, his biggest obstacle was in his own mind when comparing Michigan to Florida, Kentucky, Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio State and the many other schools that wanted him.
"I think in my mind I tried to make it close," Harris said. "I tried to evaluate my options, because I didn't want to focus on one school, but they didn't feel the same as Michigan."
So on July 28, Harris contacted Michigan offensive coordinator Al Borges about being a Wolverine.
"He really let me know how excited he was and how they were going to use me in the offense," Harris said of his conversation with Coach Borges.
A day later, Harris announced his decision on Twitter:
"I have decided to officially commit to The University of Michigan!!!!! #GOBLUE #MichiganDifference #136"
"I was surprised how soon he made the announcement," Madison Southern head coach Jon Clark said. "I kind of knew he was going there, but I didn't say anything to him. He just had this look in his eye when he was around them [Michigan staff and facility]. I just thought it would be hard for another school to strike him that way. It's a feeling that only he could find for himself."
"It was always on my mind and I knew it was the place I needed to go," Harris said. "I just wanted to go ahead [and commit] and get affiliated with the other players and I just thought there was no point in waiting any longer [to announce my commitment]."
The 5-11, 210-pound junior to-be is relieved to have the decision made for a variety of reasons; but don't be mistaken, he's still motivated to get better over the next two years.
"It's a weight off your shoulders. You don't have to worry about it as much, but you can't be complacent and get comfortable. You have to work hard and get better to live up to that expectation."
And for those who think, or hope, Harris will change his mind about Michigan...
"I'm not the type of player to de-commit," Harris stated.
Damien Harris' Statistics
Bench - 300 lbs
Squat - 475 lbs
Power Clean - 290 lbs
40-yard dash time - 4.36 (Ohio State camp in June 2013)