From the first time he stepped onto the playing field for the competitive North Dade Optimist program, Michaelee Harris had big dreams of one day becoming a star.
Whether it was as a freshman at Norland, or the past three seasons as a member of the Northwestern Bulls, Harris has never blended in with the rest of the players. This is a difference maker. Someone who has always stood out.
On Tuesday, the athlete that many had watched and admired the past few years, made his college decision. While schools such as Miami, West Virginia, Mississippi, UCF, Tennessee and Mississippi State had been in the mix, the decision came down to feeling comfortable and having the opportunity to play.
"The University of Louisville is a program on the way up with a coach (Charlie Strong) who knows what it's like to start a winning tradition," Harris said. "I'm very excited about the opportunity."
Harris (6-0, 180) joins teammate Corvin Lamb, who committed to Louisville last week. Both figure to make an impact as freshmen, which is certainly nothing new to Harris has learned plenty in his years at Northwestern.
From watching Aldarius Johnson break tackles and using his large frame to create positives, to see Tommy Streeter coming up with big catch after big catch, to see Kendal Thompkins jet into the end zone with a pass, Harris had a front row in a classroom filled with playmakers.
''It was exciting,'' Harris said. ``What it did was get me ready for last year when everyone left for college, and this year, when I am looked at as the player with the abilities to make things happen.''
Watching Johnson, Streeter and Thompkins, Harris picked up the essentials to be a great prospect. He watched them in practice, how they carried themselves in school and in games. He also followed the recruiting process, knowing full well that his time would come to be in that same situation.
''What I did during my sophomore year was to take a little something from all those guys,'' Harris said. ``I watched how tough Aldarius was, making himself nearly impossible to cover. I saw the way Tommy got up for the big games like in Dallas and in the state championship game against Orlando Boone. I also saw the way Kendal became a game breaker.''
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