NEI covers all of the top recruits in the Pacific Northwest. With our expansion we also find out about kids that fly under the radar for one of many variables. Josh Harper (6-3 195 Jr DE) is a young kid with a huge upside that comes from Marist of Eugene, who recently just got upset by Mt View in the state playoffs. Harper has been nothing short of outstanding for the Spartans (11-1) in 2011. He is Oregon’s class 5a leader in sacks with 10 (Max Preps) and also added 67 total tackles (5.6 per game), 4 fumble recoveries, and 3 blocked punts.
The kid came off the end all year long with a vengance showing off his overall athletic ability. As a sophomore, he was the schools leading scorer and rebounder on the basketball court averaging 13,2 points, 1.2 assists, and 6.2 rebounds a game. He is one of those kids with unquestioned athletic ability that has the frame to do some big things moving forward. His slender stature makes him someone people will dismiss as just a good high school defensive end, but many people feel he could do much more. ” I feel like I came in to my own this season and really got comfortable with the position”.
When the all league teams were announced recently you would think the state leader in sacks would be a sure fire 1st team all league kid. This was not the case as he received honorable mention honors which qualifies as one of the biggest snubs in Oregon. I think the coaches and voters in the Midwestern conference need to do a little more research if they want to pick these teams. Harper accomplished all of the statistical achievments playing only a half in most games due to blowouts. Marist ran through the conference like they were playing 8th graders and the kid got left off when he was a legit player of the year candidate. Nothing can be done now but look out for the rath coming to conference opponents in 2012.
“The senior group we have is special and I feel fortunate to have been able to play with them”, Harper says. The Spartans return some of the state’s top juniors in QB Kamerun Smith 6-6 205 Jr, Austin Baird 6-0 180 WR/S Jr, and James Banks 6-0 220 FB/LB Jr and should be the #1 ranked team coming into next year. Marist is a top notch program, with unbelievable community support that is run right from top to bottom. NEI will be frequenting Eugene often as we will look for Harper and the rest of the crew to be right back in the mix in 2012.