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Stoops and Petrino’s First Head-to-Head Recruiting Battle

tj-harrell deepsouthrecruiting

T.J. Harrell
Tampa (Fla.) Tampa Catholic
Ht: 6-1 | Wt: 210

It will be a long 11 months before Mark Stoops gets another shot at a Bobby Petrino team, but this weekend Stoops has the chance to snag one right from under the Dirty Bird’s nose.  This weekend 2014 Florida safety Tj Harrell is making his rounds through the state, taking official visits to U of L and UK.  Harrell was considered a lock for Louisville until Charlie Strong left for Texas.  Strong has taken a handful or so of recruits with him to Texas, but all it has done for Harrell is open the door for others, including the National Champion Florida State Seminoles.

Harrell is the big athlete that Mark Stoops loves in his secondary.  Standing at 6’0 tall, Harrell plays like he is on the prowl, playing with a physicality that is immeasurable.  Harrell did pretty much everything for his Tampa Catholic high school, using his speed and power at running back while playing centerfield as safety.  Even though he has ridiculous closing speed, what’s most impressive is his ability to lineup inside and physically ‘blow up’ plays.  I cannot help but think of Winston Guy when I watch Harrell make plays all over the field.

With less than three weeks until National Signing Day this recruiting battle will be nothing short of intense.  Harrell can choose to play for the National Champs, his cousin (UK RB Coach Chad Scott), or the stinky Dirty Bird Bobby Petrino.  Only time will tell if Mark Stoops can get another HUGE symbolic win.

Watch Harrell fly around the field in his Senior highlight tape, including a couple diving INTs ( I have no idea how he got to the one at 2:48).

– @RoushKSR

Article written by Nick Roush

"Look upon the doughnut, and not upon the hole." @RoushKSR

13 Comments for Stoops and Petrino’s First Head-to-Head Recruiting Battle

  1. chief_cat
    3:20 pm January 16, 2014 Permalink

    Good size and very physical. I would love to see Harrell playing strong safety at UK!

  2. Cat Fan In Georgia
    3:42 pm January 16, 2014 Permalink

    C’mon Nick – from one DeSales Colt to another – you can do better than “stinky Dirty Bird” can’t you? A friend’s four-year-old in Louisville uses that term (and I’ll admit it was funny the first few times he said it) but it got tiresome pretty quickly.

    This kid looks like a player – I wonder how serious FSU’s interest is? It will be interesting to see if Petrino can keep the Florida pipeline to Louisville going. Based on his past recruiting successes, I’d guess that he will. So let’s beat him on this early one…just to set the tone.

    • Reply
      3:58 pm January 16, 2014 Permalink

      If sitting on his couch watching bowl games on TV is doing better, then yes, he can do better at UK.

  3. fredrain
    3:59 pm January 16, 2014 Permalink

    I hope he is a better tackler than Winston Guy.

    • Pabloco
      4:28 pm January 16, 2014 Permalink


    • j
      8:40 pm January 16, 2014 Permalink

      lol because the winston guy in the nfl from uk only was 2nd in tackles in the sec? behind number one and also uk alum danny t?

  4. rick
    4:07 pm January 16, 2014 Permalink

    Why would he come to UK when he can go play for a true honest, family loving, motor cycle riding, womanizing, wife cheating, job skiping, late night note writing to his players, making up jobs for his girlfriend guy.

  5. DE#9
    4:55 pm January 16, 2014 Permalink

    Just saw a UK helmet at the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl Practice-American Team. Just wondering who the kid is?? Can’t wait till our program is competitive.

  6. Lewibear0420
    5:08 pm January 16, 2014 Permalink

    I wouldn’t count out Stoop’s Troops, however, we will be working from a huge deficit if 247 Sports website is accurate. I realize these poll results are based on the Sports writers that vote on the recruit’s final choice. However, 247 Sports has 21 sport’s people voting and it shows 67% to Louisville, 19% to Florida State and 10% to UK. Not that I don’t think we shouldn’t roll out the red carpet and do everything we can to show the positives about the UK program. However, I will be careful not to get overly excited. These percentages could have been established before Strong left for Texas. He (Harrell) would be an excellent “Get”, however.

  7. uk 78
    6:45 pm January 16, 2014 Permalink

    Avery willams

  8. Hmmmm Tough Decision
    7:38 pm January 16, 2014 Permalink

    hmmmm . . . . . Lets see . . . Go to a BOWL GAME (Florida State). . .. Go to a BOWL GAME (Louisville) . . . play Vandy for the SEC BOTTOM-DWELLER TITLE (Kentucky) . . . Yeah, right, REA TOUGH DECISION . . . Get REAL BBN. This Kid is smarter than you think . . .

  9. Sim N. O'Card
    8:01 pm January 16, 2014 Permalink

    Uavel is so deep, T.J. Harrell won’t see playing time as a Cordinul….or certainly at FSU.

    If he signs with KENTUCKY, he will likely see major playing time.

  10. UKfan
    8:49 pm January 16, 2014 Permalink

    Someone should bring out the birdshot, the dirty birds have taken over KSR.