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Harris makes USU coaches smile

Aggie hoop recruit shines at tourney in Las Vegas

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If any Utah State basketball coaches were at the Las Vegas Big Time high school tournament last week, they had to be beaming after watching one of their new recruits tear up the court.

Nate Harris, a soon-to-be Sky View High senior who's one of the state's best returning prep players, caught the eyes of every college scout in the gym when he lit up an Indiana all-star team with several Div. I prospects on it for 40 points.

Those coaches — and any others — interested in the talented 6-foot-6 post player needn't waste the postage money on letters to Harris, though. He recently committed to play for coach Stew Morrill at his hometown school, Utah State.

And, when he dons the navy blue and white jersey as an Aggie, it'll be a dream come true for the Cache Valley standout who earned Deseret News first-team all-state honors as a junior last season.

"Once he figured out he was good enough to play at the next level, he decided he wanted to play at Utah State and stay close to home," said Sky View coach Terrell Baldwin. "He loves the coaches up there and he feels comfortable with them. He's very excited to play for the Aggies."

Harris, who averaged 17 points and 12 rebounds last season for the Region 4 champion Bobcats, got to know Morrill and the other USU coaches pretty well at a basketball camp at the college earlier this year. That helped his decision-making process. He also had support from his coach and his parents. So, after exploring his options — he was being recruited by schools such as the University of Pacific and Northern Arizona University at the time — Harris decided Logan was the place for him.

"We talked extensively about it, and I feel great with him going up there," said Baldwin. "I told him, 'If you feel comfortable, just get it (the recruiting process) over with.' Since he committed, he's had numerous phone calls inquiring about him, and I've had to tell the coaches he's already verbally committed."

Baldwin said Harris has had a great summer against some excellent competition, not just the big game against the talented team from Gary, Ind. Though he is listed as a post player, Harris has range on his jumper and he can play just about any position Baldwin needs him to.

"He's very talented, and he's only going to get better. He's got a great feel for the game and he's an excellent passer," Baldwin added. "The thing that makes him so great is that he conducts himself the same way if he's up 20 or down 20. That tells a lot about a person's character.

"I know one thing: I like him a lot."

The coaches at USU do, too.


E-mail: jody@desnews.com