ORLANDO, Fla. -- ESPN 150 safety Marcell Harris (Orlando, Fla./Dr. Phillips) will likely make his college decision before Dec. 5 according to his mother, Andrea Tate. Harris missed a large portion of the second half in his team's 31-17 come-from-behind victory over cross-town rival Evans on Thursday night with an apparent knee injury.
Harris declined to comment after the game and the extent of his injury is unknown. Tate, however, discussed her son's recent official visit to Florida. Tate said she was impressed with Florida's academics.
"We've been to Florida five, six, umpteen times," Tate said. "This visit we went technically for academics. They had a program that was laid out for us and they showed us how they do their tutoring. We talked to people in the engineering department to see what division of engineering he wants to do. It was more of a disecting visit to see exactly what they have to offer and is that what we want. As far as football and the scheme and how he fits in to it -- all day, he fits great."
Thought Tate wouldn't speak for her son, she said she was impressed with what the Florida staff showed her on the official visit.
"It put a great impression on me because they have a lot of staff that has been there for 15, 17 years, so not only do they know all the professors, they know the ins and outs of what it takes to get these players where they need to be," she said. "I left out of there good, I always leave out of Florida good. They don't promise you anything, which is good.
"Marcell knows he has to work for it. Competition is what he likes to do. Pretty much they just let him know they'd love to have him. Not promising us anything and that's pretty much what Will [Muschamp's] conversation was like with us. But there is a good opportunity and hey, the Gators are the Gators -- and plus they have a good season going on this year, so that just adds to it."
Harris and Tate have taken official visits to Texas, Oklahoma, Florida and Florida State. Tate went to each place with an idea of what she was looking in each school for her son.
"When you go on official visits, everyone lays out the red carpet," Tate said. "That's why you have to go in their knowing what you are looking for. Because if you go in there looking for how they are going to treat you or what they are going to do, you can stop looking, because they way they all set up the visit are really nice."
When asked to compare her experiences, Tate said Texas and Florida were two schools she was impressed with.
"Texas is Texas," Tate said. "Texas do it big. So if they would have came with anything less than that, I would have been shocked -- but they didn't. Florida is Florida. Nothing really stood out too much because we've been there so many times. I guess what stood out to me the most is pretty much how the academics and the football program all correlate together. Not too many schools are like that.
"I come in looking for something different and Marcell comes in looking for something different. We put it together and we will make a decision. That's how it's going to go."
Tate said her son's decision date is not set in stone, but they would like to announce his decision before her birthday.
"We are looking for before my birthday which is Dec. 5," Tate said. We aren't looking to take it all the way to the Under Armour game and do that. I mean he can, but we never thought we'd take it out that long. We just want to go ahead and get it out of the way."