Roger Harriott is leaving high school football for the college ranks once again, and he's taking one of his star players with him.
Harriott, who led Davie University School to a state title in 2012, stepped down from the head coaching position on Friday to become an assistant head coach and running backs coach at Florida Atlantic, joining first-year coach Charlie Partridge.
As one of the most articulate and player-friendly coaches in South Florida, Harriott already made his presence felt on his first day landing the best recruit in the school’s history as University School junior running back Jordan Scarlett committed to FAU just hours after the news became official.
“I called Coach Harriott and we talked about today, and it would be a benefit for me to go there as far as staying [close to] home," said Scarlett, an underrated four-star prospect by 247Sports. "I just felt it would be a good move for me to stay with my running back coach, and keep the same routine I’ve been going through.”
Scarlett -- who had a strong interest to stay in Florida and had offers from more than 20 schools including Florida State, Miami, Florida, Alabama and Auburn -- said his closeness to Harriott as a father figure and family friend were also obvious reasons he pulled the trigger so quickly.
Teammate Deonta Fair, a Class of 2015 safety, also announced his commitment to FAU on Friday afternoon. Whether Scarlett and Fair sign National Letters of Intent to play for the Owls in 2015 remains to be seen.
Harriott, a former Boston University and Villanova running back who tallied more than 2,000 yards in his college career, briefly resigned as U-School coach in January 2010 to become the running backs coach at Syracuse, but decided to return home with his wife and four children in mind.
Now Harriott can have his cake and can eat it, too, trying to help FAU make a statement heading into its second season in Conference USA.
FAU officially announced Harriott's hire Friday afternoon. Patridge will also retain associate head coach and offensive coordinator Brian Wright on his staff.
"I am thrilled to bring Roger on board with the Owls," Partridge said in a statement released by the school. "He has been an extremely successful football coach and leader of student-athletes. He will bring leadership principles that will impact our program and his Florida roots demonstrates our commitment to the area."
With the news, several of University School’s top players in the Class of 2015 are in the process of transferring elsewhere.
Scarlett said he's thinking of attending Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas or Plantation American Heritage if he doesn’t stay at University School.
Defensive tackle Brandon Boyce, who committed to Duke on Friday afternoon, confirmed via his Twitter account he’s headed to Fort Lauderdale St. Thomas Aquinas.
Cornerback Rashard Causey told the Miami Herald on Friday he’s also “likely” to follow Boyce, but Plantation American Heritage is also an option. Causey told 247Sports it was likely he, Boyce, Scarlett, and star 2016 slot receiver Sam Bruce could possibly enroll to Aquinas.