UPDATE: Miami announced the signing of Harris on Tuesday. Our original post follows.
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Junior college prospect Dayall Harris, who committed late last week, could be just what he is looking for.
Harris, who plans to arrive on campus in May and compete for playing time immediately.
“Right now [Richt] is just trying to rebuild,” Harris told WJTV in his hometown of Jackson, Miss. “He came into kind of a messed-up situation. He had only five scholarship receivers. … Usually a school has 10 or more.”
Indeed, Miami returns senior-to-be Stacy Coley (689 yards, four touchdowns on 47 catches) but loses approximately 40 percent of its receiving yards from 2015. Graduating seniors Rashawn Scott and Herb Waters accounted for 1,319 yards and six touchdowns. Oft-suspended sophomore Tyre Brady (112 yards, one touchdown) elected to transfer.
Aside from Coley, promising talent Lawrence Cager is expected to make noise this fall alongside veterans Braxton Berrios and Malcolm Lewis. UM also signed three talented recruits (Sam Bruce, Ahmmon Richards, Dionte Mullins) and boasts several pass-catching backs and tight ends. However, depth is still lacking.
Thus, the prospect of playing time was a major draw for Harris (6-foot-3, 192 pounds), who played last season at Copiah-Lincoln Community College in his hometown.
A former four-star recruit, he signed with Mississippi in 2014 and competed for playing time in fall practices but wound up redshirting. He was suspended later in the season after what local media referred to as “several minor incidents.” He did not travel for Ole Miss’ appearance in the Peach Bowl that season.
He will be a redshirt sophomore this fall and have three years of eligibility at UM. He wore No. 83 at Ole Miss, a number not worn by any current Hurricanes player.
Harris, whose first name is pronounced DAY-all, played at Jackson (Miss.) Callaway High. He had 42 catches for 564 yards and seven touchdowns as a senior and registered 1,034 total all-purpose yards. He also played basketball – winning state titles in 2012 and 2013 – and ran track.
He apparently likes the tradition at Miami, as evidenced by his choice of attire for an on-camera interview: a throwback-style Hurricanes jersey with Michael Irvin’s No. 47 on it. That wasn’t all he was excited about.
“I love the coaches. I love the campus,” he said. “It’s kind of like a tropical rainforest or something.”