Divisive Former Texas A&M Football CB Denver Harris Reportedly Visiting Campus; Should Elko Give Him a Chance?
The saga of Denver Harris is still spoken of in grave tones and with furrowed brows by Texas A&M football fans. After missing out on top defensive back prospects for the last several years, save Jaylon Jones, and having had significant trouble signing any prospect of note out of North Shore High School in Houston for years, it appeared that the Aggies had remedied both issues when they signed Harris in the 2022 class.
Harris was a five-star player and contributor to a state champion Mustangs squad. After an up-and-down recruitment saw him ultimately end up in College Station, he made his way to the field very quickly, and acquitted himself well. He was named a midseason freshman all-American after the game versus Alabama, but only one game later, he and three other freshmen were suspended for the remainder of the season. Each of these four entered the portal and found other homes; Denver ended up at LSU.
While in Baton Rouge, Harris appeared to see continued trouble. There have been reports on fan sites for the Bayou Bengals that he has undergone team discipline, including suspensions, and he only ended up appearing in five games this past year. Harris has now re-entered the portal and, to the surprise of many, is reported to be taking a visit back to College Station this weekend.
There was a confused reaction to this news by a certain quarter of Aggie fans. How could Texas A&M football consider taking Harris back after all the hubbub surrounding his previous stint in College Station?
Here's how I see the situation. Elko, along with new CBs coach Ish Aristide, knows what he's getting when it comes to Denver. Ish recruited Harris early on, and Elko saw it through to the end before he left for Durham. Both guys, therefore, are aware of the positives and negatives associated with this situation.
There's been a lot of talk about changing a culture that had apparently sagged under Jimbo. Harris was considered by some Aggies to be emblematic of that culture problem: high in talent, but off-field issues making his presence a net negative. Elko thus far seems to be headed in the opposite direction of the previous regime in that regard. Why, then, would he bring in Harris?
Well, it should be said here that a visit does not constitute any sort of binding commitment. Harris is not now enrolled at Texas A&M just because he's visiting campus. As it happens, the mere fact that he's visiting is telling.
He is obviously well familiar with the surrounds of College Station. It is conceivable to me, then, that the reason for his visit is that he will be having a talk with the new staff (presumably Elko and Ish) in which strict guidelines for a return would be laid out. After issues have followed him at two stops now, his landing places in the SEC outside of this one—if all this is true—would be few and far between, so I would think he would be amenable to hearing those conditions.
So, does the fact that Elko is considering bringing Harris back mean that he is not serious about changing the culture? I would have to say no: people can change, obviously. In fact, if Elko is able to bring Harris back to College Station and help set him straight, then it would be a powerful testament to the culture the new head man for Texas A&M football is building. For now, though, we'll have to wait and see what happens.