ESPN 150 safety thinking big

ORLANDO, Fla. -- ESPN 150 safety Marcell Harris (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) received his game jersey Wednesday morning during the American Family Insurance Selection Tour for the 2013 Under Armour All-America Game.

The 6-foot-1, 207-pound athlete joins former Dr. Phillips safety Ha'Sean Clinton-Dix (Alabama), wide receiver Trey Griffey (Arizona) and wide receiver Kenny Shaw (FSU) as former Panthers that have participated in the prestigious contest.

Harris said he is honored to be selected to the game.

"This is what we work to," Harris said. "This is a main goal in high school -- to get to the Under Armour All-America Game -- to be honest. Just to be an All-American at what you do it makes you feel accomplished about yourself and lets you know you are doing things right. To be a part of this game with the big names like Julio Jones and Matt Barkley and a lot of these guys have played in this game.

"Just getting my name to that paper saying who played in that game and the things I know I can do when I get to that next level. It's just a blessing."

Not only is it a blessing, it's become regular occurrence for the top players at Dr. Phillips.

"Clinton-Dix, he's up for the Jim Thorpe award as a safety," said Harris. "Trey, as a freshmen, he is getting into the mix -- he's doing good. Dee Just to be in the mix with some of the names that have come from this school is just a blessing."

Andrea Tate, Harris' mother, said things didn't always come easy for her son. He had to work hard for everything he's earned.

"I think it's a blessing," Tate said. "Everything from the recruiting process, to the Under Armour game, I think it's all a blessing. Nothing came easy for him; it all came with a fight. Everything came with adversity -- but it's a blessing and I'm very proud of him.

"He's a family guy, but he's also a guy that you can count on. He's very dependable. When it comes down to getting something done, he likes support. He's never content -- he's always open for someone to train him and to learn more from someone. He's very determined. He can do anything in life he wants to do."

Dr. Phillips head coach Rodney Wells, who has coached four All-American's over the last four years, says Harris has what it takes mentally and physically to make it to the NFL.

"You always hear the cliché 'he's a better person than he is a player,' but that's what we have in Marcell," Wells said. "He's a great kid, a great individual. He's a 'yes sir, no sir' guy. He's always on time and always working hard, always doing exactly what the coach wants him to do. On the field, I've never coached, and I've coached a lot of good players, a safety with his attributes. He's big, strong, fast, physical and he can cover. He can do it all. I'd probably say he's an NFL guy just because he's 6-2 or so 210-pounds. And with the agility he has, he has [everything] you need."

As for his recruitment, Harris has taken official visits to Oklahoma, Florida State, Texas and Florida and says he will not need to use his fifth and final visit. Though he claims no leader, Harris said he will make his college decision on Nov. 16.