As National Signing Day approaches on Feb. 1, Brandon Chatmon is breaking down every commitment and signee in the Sooners' 2012 recruiting class. View all of our profiles here.
Name: Laith Harlow
Position: Tight End
Height, Weight: 6-foot-3, 235 pounds
Hometown/School: Tallahassee, Fla./Godby
Committed: May 31, 2011
Scout grade: 78. Three star prospect.
Scout rankings: No. 25 tight end, No. 277 in Southeast Region, No. 93 in Florida
Picked OU over: Alabama, Notre Dame, South Carolina, Arkansas, Miami (Fla.), UCLA and others
State of the position: The tight end spot is wide open with the departure of seniors James Hanna and Trent Ratterree. The Sooners like to use two tight ends often and Harlow will join Taylor McNamara and Brannon Green at the position. The only thing between those three players and seeing the field immediately is themselves.
Pros: “Harlow comes across as a fiery kid who enjoys playing the game and is going to give maximum effort. He has good size for a tight end and looks to have the frame to be able to pack on some more good weight as he physically matures.” - ESPN analyst
Cons: “He is best suited as a short range and potentially intermediate target. He needs to develop as a blocker but as he does he can be a solid productive in-line tight end.” - ESPN analyst
Similar to/potential role: Trent Ratterree. If he gets healthy, Harlow, who is overcoming a back injury, could develop into a pass catching version of Ratterree. He’s not the blocker that Ratterree is but should develop that part of his game and be a solid option in the middle of the field in time.
Expected impact: 2013. Getting healthy is Harlow’s No. 1 priority. Even though tight end is a major need, don’t be surprised if OU tells Harlow to get his body right first with a redshirt season. Once healthy, Harlow could be a valuable redzone and short yardage receiving threat with his hands and size.