Javon Harrison’s head was spinning and the Wayne High School senior quarterback hadn’t even taken a hit. “I had a lot of my mind,” Harrison said on Monday. “I could tell in 7-on-7’s that my mind wasn’t right.”
Harrison is at peace now. That’s because he decommitted from the University of Toledo to pledge allegiance to Cincinnati last weekend. He was among more than 400 juniors and seniors who participated in the Bearcats’ “Friday Night Lights,” a UC summer football camp. UC coach Butch Jones offered him afterward and Harrison jumped.
Harrison’s “flip” makes sense. Older brother Jared competed for the UC track and field team last season and the Harrisons have extended family in the Queen City. Playing closer to home in the Big East was too much to pass on.
Harrison contacted the Toledo staff about his switch.
“It was tough, but it was something that I had to do,” Harrison said. “I handled it the right way.”
TOUGH STUFF: Alter QB Malik Zaire was pushed to his limit in the Trent Dilfer Elite 11 football camp at Pepperdine University. He didn’t break.
That’s the best that he could have hoped for after undergoing a four-hour Navy SEALS workout that began at 4 a.m.
“I don’t know if it made me want to become a SEAL, but it definitely made me appreciate the guys and girls who go out there and help make our country free,” Zaire said.
That was just a portion of the intense training he and 24 other of the nation’s best QB prospects underwent for five days. Campers were judged on skills, drills, film breakdown and leadership, among other things. Carrying logs in teams on the beach wasn’t optional.
Zaire, a lefty who has committed to Notre Dame, said he ranked among the top five all week. He was among the top 11 who “made the cut.” Camp highlights will be shown on ESPN on Aug. 7 and Aug. 14.
“The whole experience is one of the toughest things I’ve been through,” Zaire said. “The Navy SEALS thing … I’ve never been through anything like that. They called it a light workout, but it was really tough.”
HE’S NO. 5: Springfield wideout Thaddeus Snodgrass paces the area’s Class of 2014 football recruits as listed by rivals.com. The 6-1, 170-pound speedster is No. 5 and rocketed up the wanted list following impressive summer camps. Ohio State, Michigan State and Notre Dame are among the powers to have offered him scholarships.
Also cracking the top 25 rivals.com Class of 2014 are Wayne linebacker Dorian Hendrix (11th), Springfield linebacker Davonte James (12th), Trotwood lineman Verondtae Wilkinson (16th), Minster tight end Ethan Wolf (17th), Marion Local QB Adam Bertke (23rd) and Trotwood running back Ashton Jackson (24th).
DOWN & OUT: Long live a revived Kirk Herbstreit National Kickoff Classic, because the showcase is dead this year.
Intersport, which ran the event since its inception in 2008, pulled the plug after failing to land major sponsors to replace Burger King and Geico Auto Insurance. Anchored on Labor Day weekend, the event often matched the nation’s best high school and private programs, showcasing Ohio and Texas teams. Games were shown on ESPN.
“We had a great run with the event,” Intersport associate VP Drew Russell said. Centerville and Springfield played in it last year at Ohio Stadium.