With his commitment to Berkeley last November, class of 2018 linebacker Omari Harris out of Antioch HS looks to make an immediate impact for the California Golden Bears. Let’s take a look at the player potential for Harris as he joins a team in dire need of defensive talent.
High School: Antioch HS (Antioch, CA)
Playing in the tough Bay Area high school sports world, Harris has ample experience competing at a high level. Omari is an excellent contributor to Antioch’s defense and he will be able to add speed to a Cal team competing in the fast-paced Pac-12 North. Although he may currently be slightly undersized, a summer in the Simpson Student-Athlete High Performance Center weight room combined with his inherent athleticism should more than compensate.
Recruiting Site Rankings:
247Sports: 3-star, ranked 31st linebacker in CA
Rivals: 3-star, unranked at linebacker
ESPN: 3-star, ranked 46th linebacker in CA
In an attempt at interpreting these compiled rankings, the various recruiting sites seem to suggest that Harris is a solid, D-1 caliber talent with serious potential who just needs some refining at the collegiate level to become a dominant defensive leader.
Harris is a big hitter. When examining the film from Omari’s junior year, it is clearly evident that he is able to leverage his frame to deliver devastating blows to the offensive backfield. Once he has momentum, very little is stopping him. See his junior highlights below.
Harris’ lateral explosiveness will also be one of his key strengths. Even when he may have misjudged the read, his ability to cutback and finish the tackle is impressive. Some time in the tape room with an experienced HC and DC should help to remedy some of the more obvious misreads. In the conference with some of the most touted halfbacks in CFB history, having a linebacker with the ability to contain is crucial to a successful defensive effort.
Finally, we have to discuss Harris’ quickness. Also utilized as a running back in high school, his ability to pick up speed is most noticeable in open-field situations where he is consistently able to run down the ball carrier. Competing against some of the most potent offenses in the country in the Pac-12 North, Omari will need to leverage his talents and knowledge from his offensive experiences to shut down opponents.
Omari Harris has the potential to be a bright young star for the Bears as we embark on the Wilcox era. A product of the Bay Area gridiron, Harris is helping Cal reclaim its home turf. With his athletic prowess and ability to deliver monster hits, fans in Berkeley should feel excited for the arrival of Omari Harris.