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Harris, McMahon Find Home Away From Home

By BJ Bennett
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Similar in makeup and mindset, Savannah, in the form of Jakeen Harris and Dylan McMahon, will soon move north.

Savannah, Georgia was Raleigh, North Carolina-south on the first day of the Early Signing Period as two of the area's premier prep talents, defensive back Jakeen Harris and center Ryan McMahon, signed with North Carolina State. The south Georgia symmetry follows what has been an exciting season for the Wolfpack, as, just down I-95, an upcoming Gator Bowl victory would get NC State to ten wins. Harris and McMahon are the types of players poised to help current trends continue.

In addition to being accomplished student-athletes, Harris and McMahon have both been groomed for next-level success. Harris starred for one of the top programs in the entire southeast in multi-time recent champion Benedictine, while McMahon, playing for another traditional power in Savannah Christian, just advanced to the state semifinals. The two future teammates are accustomed to winning. They head to the next level with similar goals in mind.     

The dynamic and versatile Harris did it all in high school. He rushed for 17 touchdowns, averaged nearly 16 yards per reception, compiled 269 total tackles and recorded eleven interceptions. Harris is a quick, instinctive, playmaking defender in the secondary, who prides himself in his aggressive, physical style of play. Of his aforementioned 269 stops at Benedictine, 195 of them were solo. Though Harris can do a number of different things, his role in Raleigh is already set.

"I will be playing the nickel position," Harris explained, "coming down and making tackles."

At 6'3'', 290 pounds, regarded as one of the nation's premier centers, McMahon is bringing big-time credentials to North Carolina State. He is also bringing all of the intangibles. McMahon is a tireless worker, a fierce competitor and, as the younger brother of former Florida State center Ryan McMahon, is part of a proud football pedigree. For a program that has been dominant at the line of scrimmage in recent years, he should be a perfect fit.

"They're getting a guy that is going to work hard and never take a play off. I'm never going to give up," McMahon shared. 

For Harris and McMahon alike, a certain appeal attracted them to NC State, a bond that both felt on their respective visits. While the Wolfpack still appear to be on the rise, continue to put players in the NFL and have great facilities and fan support, there was, for these two neighbors, something more. Head coach Dave Doeren and staff have created a welcoming environment, one Harris and McMahon are looking forward to becoming a part of.

One word was commonly used when Harris and McMahon talked about their decision: family.

"It is a brotherhood up there," Harris acknowledged. "Everybody is just a family, it feels like family."

Sentiments were shared.

"I'm real big on the family aspect, I love a good family," McMahon detailed. "They are all tight, you can tell they are all close up there and everyone treats everyone like their brother of their father."

Two talented low country neighbors are going to NC State as teammates. The framework is clearly in place. Harris and McMahon have developed a friendship only certain to strengthen in the years to come. As they prepare for the transition from high school to college, they both should be considered assets for one another.

"It feels good, just knowing that you will know somebody that you're going to be on campus with, to have a friend on campus," Harris added.

Similar in makeup and mindset, Savannah, in the form of Harris and McMahon, will soon move north. 

"It's awesome, going with someone I already know," McMahon nodded. "I'm glad to have somebody up there I already know to get to work with, a friend, someone I'm close to."

Now members of the Wolfpack, Harris and McMahon are thrilled for their futures. Where they are going already feels like home.

BJ Bennett - B.J. Bennett is's founder and publisher. He is the co-host of "Three & Out" with Kevin Thomas and Ben Troupe on the "Southern Pigskin Radio Network". Email: / Twitter: @BJBennettSports