Centerville sophomore Chase Harrison is the area’s most sought-after QB recruit since Braxton Miller at Wayne. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Centerville sophomore QB lighting up recruiting radar

“It’s much different for me,” reflected Harrison, who took over as a rare freshman Elks starting QB in Week 3 last season. “Everything is clicking in my head. Last year, I was ready, it’s just a whole different feel from middle school to high school. This year it’s normal for me. It’s easy to read the field and it’s fun playing with my teammates who we had last year.”

»» RELATED: Football power rankings

»» PHOTOS: Centerville at Trotwood preseason football

It’s just as easy to label Harrison the hottest area QB prospect since Braxton Miller’s wizardry at Wayne.

A drop-back passer with good accuracy, Harrison landed his first offer from the University of Louisville as an eighth grader. That vaulted him up the Class of 2022 QB recruiting radar.

Centerville High School sophomore QB Chase Harrison (left) and the Elks huddle with head coach Brent Ullery at Trotwood-Madison in a football preseason scrimmage on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

Toledo and Pennsylvania have since offered. He impressed in summer camps at Ohio State and Notre Dame. Cincinnati, Michigan State, Penn State and Indiana also are interested. So are many others.

»» SOCIAL MEDIA: You should like Marc Pendleton on Facebook and Twitter

“It’s fun to coach a guy with his skill set and his ability level,” Centerville coach Brent Ullery said. “Even more fun, it’s his coachability. He’s great to be around and great to coach and always soaking up as much football as he can.”

At 6 feet 3 and 191 pounds, Harrison already has the desired next-level size and promising ability. Plus, there’s the pedigree. He’s the younger brother to former Centerville and Chaminade Julienne record-setting QB Jacob Harrison, now a senior backup at Navy.

“It’s fun to follow my brother,” Chase Harrison said. “He set such high expectations. I’ve got to prove that I’m better.”

»» RELATED: Carroll loses longtime soccer assistant coach

There’s a lot to prove at Centerville this season and much of that will ride on Harrison. He completed 137 of 250 passes (55 percent) for 1,446 yards and nine touchdowns as a freshman. His first start was a 10-7 loss to Alter and he was at his best the last five games, accounting for more than 1,000 yards passing.

Centerville High School sophomore QB Chase Harrison leads the Elks at Trotwood-Madison in a football preseason scrimmage on Thursday, Aug. 22, 2019. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

But Centerville was uncharacteristically rocked. The Elks won their final two games to finish 2-8 and snap a nine-game losing skid over two seasons.

»» PHOTOS: Beavercreek vs. Alter, preseason football

That just doesn’t happen at Centerville, an established Division I power that has four alums in NFL camps: defensive tackle Tito Odenigbo (Vikings) and his brother, defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo (Vikings), defensive tackle Michael Bennett (Falcons) and free agent kicker Mike Nugent.

“We challenged (returning players),” assured Ullery following last week’s scrimmage at Trotwood-Madison. “We threw the kitchen sink at them and they responded.”

»» PHOTOS: Alter vs. Beavercreek, preseason football

Harrison isn’t the only high-profile recruit at Centerville, or in his class. Sophomore Cotie McMahon, a 5-10 basketball standout, also landed offers in eighth grade from Xavier and Northern Kentucky. According to her Twitter account, Penn State, Kansas, Miami, Northwestern, North Carolina, Indiana and Florida also have made offers.

There’s also Centerville senior Mo Njie, a developing 6-9 basketball front-liner. Dayton, Xavier, Providence and Toledo have made offers.

»» RELATED: Former Northwestern, Troy coach dies

“It’s a surreal feeling,” Harrison said. “You never expect that day to come, then when it does, it’s, wow. I’m doing the sport I love and I’m playing with my brothers. I keep the mindset that there’s always someone out-working me. I just have to keep trying to be the best and never feel complacent. Once you feel complacent, then you’re done.”

Centerville opens at Fairfield on Friday.

»» RELATED: Final week for football scrimmages

Here’s a look at other established area returning quarterbacks (alphabetical order):

• Cade Cradlebaugh, sr., Valley View: Passed for 1,165 yards and 12 scores.

• Ryan Dunham, sr., Sidney: Passed for 1,480 yards and 14 touchdowns.

Shawnee quarterback Robie Glass avoids a tackle by Greenon''s Arlie Benson as he carries the ball for a first down during Friday's season opener. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

• Robie Glass, sr., Springfield Shawnee: Among the area’s best athletes. Passed for 1,137 yards and nine touchdowns last season to go with 998 yards rushing and 11 more scores. Also a high impact linebacker and safety and a two-time D-II state high jump champion. Has an offer from Akron and more will follow.

»» RELATED: Alter grad helps U.S. earn Olympics spot

• Jake Hemmelgarn, sr., Coldwater: Threw for 2,400-plus yards and 31 touchdowns last season for the Cavaliers (10-3), which included a double-overtime Week 10 defeat of Marion Local.

• Ryan Minor, sr., Chaminade Julienne: Had a sensational five-game run to start last season, then sat out the remainder due to a new Ohio High School Athletic Association transfer rule. Had 1,021 yards passing, 16 TD tosses and just three picks in those five games. CJ went 5-0 and was No. 1 in the state in D-III when he was sidelined.

»» RELATED: GCL Co-Ed football preview

Loramie QB Collin Moore takes aim behind Devin Wehrman. McComb defeated Fort Loramie 28-14 in a D-VII high school football state semifinal at Wapakoneta on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018. MARC PENDLETON / STAFF

• Collin Moore, jr., Fort Loramie: Second team All-Ohio (D-VII) after leader the Redskins to a 12-2 season. Passed for 1,361 yards and 15 touchdowns and rushed for 500-plus yards in the regular season.

• Landon Palmer, sr., Springboro: Passed for 1,732 yards and 19 touchdowns. At 6-5 and 200 pounds, should see a surge in recruitment with another solid season.

»» RELATED: Girls, boys basketball final fours moving

• Cade Rice, jr., Greenon: Led the Knights (6-4) to their first winning season since 2007, passing for 1,765 yards and 16 touchdowns and rushing for 1,071 yards and another 13 scores.

• Trevor Woodruff, sr., West Liberty-Salem: Led the Ohio Heritage Conference with 1,930 yards passing, 23 TD passes and just three interceptions.

»» RELATED: MVL football preview

»» PHOTOS: Greenville preseason football

»» PHOTOS: Northmont preseason football

»» RELATED: GWOC football preview

»» RELATED: Football video replay for state championships

»» RELATED: Week 1 football schedule

»» RELATED: GCL Co-Ed vs. OHSAA lawsuit

Thank you for reading the Dayton Daily News and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.

Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Dayton Daily News. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.

X