Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Hot Topics: Should 2014 Prospect Drake Harris Play Football Or Basketball?

On a regular basis, our writers will break down a "Hot Topic" among the Michigan fans and express their personal opinions regarding the issue. Topics cover everything from major athletic department decisions to team apparel. Writers have their own opinions and readers and their views may not necessarily represent Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity.  Readers are welcome to comment below or contact our writers via Twitter with their own thoughts.

Drake Harris a 2014 recruit that has indicated that he would like to play both football and basketball in college.  He will making his decision soon and there has been debate surrounding whether he should do both or choose one sport.  We've asked our writers which sport he should play if he only decides to play one sport:

Tyler Desy - For Drake Harris Playing College Football

1) I've watched the highlight tape and yes, Drake Harris is the real deal.  He's a 4* recruit in basketball and will likely be for football as well.  With a final three of Michigan, MSU, and Notre Dame, he has a tough decision.  Playing football at any of these three schools would be huge and could lead him to have major success in life and especially at the next level since football is a bigger sport nationally than basketball.  If he really wants to make it to the top, he will choose football.

2)  There are risks in both sports that go without saying, but in football he has an easier shot at making the starting lineup.  Basically is really a sport of names and unless he makes a huge name for himself on a very successful team (not saying either of the schools he picks won't be successful) it's going to be harder to make the basketball team.  There are just more opportunities with football and with a lot of teams if he has success.  Sure, there is an injury risk, but look at guys like Greg Oden, he played basketball and still had to retire early.

Thomas Beindit - For Drake Harris Playing College Basketball

1)  Drake Harris is one of the most talented recruits in the nation.  Not only as a football player, but a basketball player as well.  In fact, I think he's a better basketball player than he is a football player.  Scout and Rivals both have him as a 4* and ESPN puts him a bit lower at a 3* for basketball.  However, in football, the rankings are much less positive.  All three of the major sites do not have him ranked.  247Sports has him as a 4* wide receiver, but I'm not so sure that will hold up on the other sites.  In fact, the only major schools that seems to have offered him at this point for football is Michigan and Notre Dame.  Obviously, Michigan and Notre Dame are big names in the football world, but he's already received a ton of attention in basketball from schools including Indiana, Michigan St, and Michigan.  He may blow up once the major scouting services pay more attention to his football skills, but why go that route when he is such a great baskteball player.

2) Football is a tough sport.  We constantly hear about the risk for lifelong injuries and the wear that players endure over a season.  College football is extremely rough.  Basketball isn't an easy sport either, but there's no denying that football is rougher on a player's body than basketball.  It seems almost like every year there is a major injury that reduces a good player's chances at making it to the next level.  Of course, this happens in basketball as well, but I don't think there's any denying that it's more prevalent in the physical sport of football.  If you're arguably more talented at basketball than football, why would you increase your chances for injuries and use that route?  Sure, there's love for the game, but if Harris wants to make the best decision, he will take up basketball in college.  I love football, but to me, if you're as talented at both sports as Harris has been, you have to go with basketball.  Look at LeBron James.  He could have easily went on scholarship to play football, but he opted for basketball as his future.  Harris is no LeBron, but it seemed to have worked out pretty well for LeBron.  Plus, if Harris is awesome, he can go pro two years earlier for basketball than football.  There's no predicting what a recruit will do in college, but hey it can't hurt being able to go pro earlier.


Final Points

Tyler - I think Drake should choose football simply based on the fact that there's such pressure to leave college early for basketball.  Say he goes to college and has an amazing freshman year. There will be extreme pressure to leave, even if he's not ready.  I believe he would have a better chance at staying in school if he chooses football and even if he goes pro as a junior, there's a good chance he will be close or already earned his degree.  He will be more mature at that point and have a better chance at making it both at the professional level and as a person.  I believe he will do well in both sports, but he should end up doing football.

Thomas - I agree that if Harris ends up on a great team for football, he could do a lot, but the very same could be said about basketball.  If he went to a school like Indiana, MSU, or Michigan, he would have some great players and coaches around him as well.  Along with this, he may very well end up being a 4* for football and have some great ratings.  However, he already has that in basketball, so I don't see that as being a major advantage.  Outside of love for the game, I just can't see a logical reason to choose football over basketball in Harris' situation, especially considering the offers he's already gotten for both sports and the increased chance for injury in football.


All writers are entitled to their own opinion and those may or may not represent the held beliefs of Hoke's Mad Magicians as an entity. Readers are welcome to comment below or contact the writers via Twitter with   their thoughts

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