Back Jakeen “Hitstick” Harris

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Jakeen “Hitstick” Harris

By Barry Every
SouthernPigskin.com
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As a junior, Harris recorded 103 tackles, five INT’s, three TFL’s, one FF and one FR. Two of those picks were returned for scores. He also accounted for 525 all-purpose yards and four offensive touchdowns.

Savannah (Ga.) Benedictine came up short of reaching its goal of back-to-back State Championships in 2017. The Cadets were knocked out of the GHSA-AA State Quarterfinals 31-17 by Atlanta (Ga.) Hapeville Charter. Absent from the final contest was Benedictine’s leading tackler Jakeen Harris, who suffered a high ankle sprain the previous week.

“Yeah it was real tough watching my teammates play their last game,” Harris said. “But My coaches got me through it; they just told me to encourage the other kids and not let them get down on themselves.”

As a junior, Harris recorded 103 tackles, five INT’s, three TFL’s, one FF and one FR. Two of those picks were returned for scores. He also accounted for 525 all-purpose yards and four offensive touchdowns. The previous year he recorded 64 tackles, six TFL’s, 9 PBU’s and three INT’s from his strong safety position.

“He is a beast - just a really, really good football player,” Head Coach Danny Britt said. “He really physically matured between his sophomore and junior seasons. He can cover man to man and hits like a linebacker, Harris even had three blocked kicks for us this past season.”

At this time Harris has garnered offers from Central Michigan and Western Kentucky and is receiving serious interest from Georgia Southern and Purdue.

“Both Coach Jayden Everett (CMU) and Steve Spurrier, Jr. (WKU) do a great job keeping me informed about what is going on with their respective schools,” Harris said. “Three schools I’d love to hear more from are Tennessee, UCF and USF. I love the excitement that the new staff at Tennessee brings and UCF and USF just have something special going on.”

Every school that is currently recruiting Harris sees his future at safety. Though at times he is so close to the line of scrimmage one would think he was a linebacker, like his brother Chris.

“You use this guy as much as possible and anywhere you need him, that’s how much of an impact he has on our team,” Britt said. “He also excels on special teams having recorded several tackles on our coverage teams. It really hurt us not having Jakeen versus Hapeville Charter, but, their quarterback was simply making incredible throws in tight windows that night.”

This past spring Harris hit camps at Georgia and Mercer while already has setting his sights on hitting Columbia, South Carolina for the Will Muschamp Camp next year. He also caught games this fall at Georgia and Georgia Southern. 

Academically Harris sports a 3.4 overall GPA and is set to take the SAT for the first time on March, 9. Even without a test score his GPA should attract college recruiters from around the country.

When not playing football, Harris takes part on the Cadet Track and Field Squad. This coming spring he will be taking part on the 4x100, 4x400 and the 400-meters. As a sophomore he ran the fourth leg on 4x400 which finished second at the Region 2-AA Championships. 

After witnessing his football acumen in person versus Vidalia; it’s no wonder this secondary striker already has FBS offers. On that night he recorded a whopping 21 tackles in guiding Benedictine to a 27-7 region victory on the road.

Harris already has his sights set on bringing glory back to Benedictine in 2018.

“My best asset is my ability to come downhill and tackle, but I can also cover,” Harris said. “But next year I’m going to have to be the leader that pushes the underclassmen. I’m going to have to lead every day, we lose three starting offensive lineman, so I have to really be there for the younger guys.”

With so much importance being put on dynamic spread offensive attacks, it’s refreshing to find someone that is not afraid to stick hit hat on a ball carrier. Not only will this young man strike, but he will simply run through his opponents without hesitation.

It’s not uncommon for young defensive backs or linebackers to acclaim to be the “Hitstick”. Having covered hundreds of games over the past ten years that moniker fits Harris to a T. College coaches looking for that fearless defensive difference maker need to stop by Benedictine Military School in Savannah, Georgia.