The California Golden Bears are stockpiling on wideouts. And now they have one individual who's been dying to be a Bear since the beginning of his senior season.
Chris Harper originally committed to SMU a few weeks ago, but has flipped his commitment right around after a strong visit this weekend came with a Cal offer. Greg Biggins of ESPN has more ($).
"Cal is kind of like a dream school for me," Harper said. "I visited in the summer with Bryce [Treggs] and fell in love with the place. They recruited me all year, but I had no idea if they were going to offer me or not.
"On Saturday, I talked to Coach Tedford, and he told me they were offering me a scholarship and he wanted me to be a Bear. I couldn’t believe it. I was seriously blown away. I wanted to commit right there on the spot, but I knew I had to talk to my dad first. When I told him I wanted to switch to Cal, he wasn’t too happy at first, but we discussed it again Tuesday night and decided Cal was just too good of an opportunity to pass up."
Welcome to Cal, Chris! GO BEARS!
After the jump, more on the Crespi standout, plus his senior highlights.
Harper committed to Cal over schools like Colorado, Georgia Tech and SMU. He is one of those under-the-radar guys that might turn out to be a late bloomer; the wide receiver class is simply so good this year on the West Coast that Harper doesn't quite get the accolades he deserves.
When you watch Harper on tape, his technique stands out. Tom Luginbill had this to say about Harper.
"Chris Harper is one of those kids we did back in the early summer that showed real promise,'' said Tom Luginbill, ESPN.com's national director of scouting. "He is a savvy, tough slot receiver that is quicker than fast and very competent in his production because he knows how to get open and he is not afraid to work the middle of the field.
"I would agree he is picking up steam and it is not surprising. He is not a burner and may have long field speed limitations at the next level, but is an ideal short and intermediate level receiver that can manipulate coverage and create separation."
If you want to learn more about Harper, check out this profile by Sean Ceglinsky of ESPN Los Angeles (great work ethic, great student, great quotes from his coach). He's the type of player you root for to succeed.
At 6'1", 170, Harper probably needs time to develop into his body and get stronger, bigger, faster, and all that jazz. He definitely has great technique; now it's a matter of getting himself in elite physical condition so he can perform at a high level against big time college defenders. He has developed quite a bit from junior to senior season, so I figure the trend should continue to go upward as he adjusts to the college grind.
Harper is also part of the 1925 All-Stars, the seven-on-seven team coached by Keyshawn Johnson that also features Treggs and Cal targets Jordan Payton and Ishmael Adams.
It's really nice to see him end up at the school he loves, and it's great to see him envision Cal as his dream destination.