Written by Ryan Wright
As a reminder for all high school football players, and at any grade classification, the story of Chase Harrison’s freshman year serves as an important message to keep working hard and to always be ready to step up because one never knows what will happen. Harrison’s 2018 season began holding a clipboard for Centerville High School as a backup to a senior but ended with MaxPreps and FBU-Adidas All-American honors after throwing for 1,649 yards with 12 touchdowns in 7.5 games. The 6-2.5, 195-pound, playmaker has impressed beyond national media earning a three-star recruiting ranking from QB Hit List and two scholarship offers from Louisville and Toledo. After his breakout season, college scouts across the country are interested to see how his game develops during the 2019 season with a good handful being able to see him in-person this summer during the camp circuit… many more offers to come.
In an RNG exclusive interview partnered with QB Hit List, I sat down with one of the top rising stars in Ohio’s 2022 class to learn more about his game and offseason grind.
*Click link to see Chase Harrison’s QB Hit List profile
Chase, playing varsity ball at quarterback as a freshman is no easy task. How did you prepare yourself for the 2018 season allowing you to be so productive?
“The main thing as quarterback is building a relationship with the offensive line and receivers. It is a jump, if you are ready for it, it is not as hard. You have to believe in yourself and have confidence in yourself to succeed.”
There are a lot of noticeable attributes to point out from your game film, one of them is the trust the coaches had in you to make plays. There were a lot of third-and-long and fourth down plays you converted to keep drives going. How did you develop that trust and bond with the coaches throughout the season?
“It was countless days of working together. Every day we do a two-minute drill and situational work. On third-and-long, we would have a go-to play. They knew I made good decisions. They trusted in me, and I was grateful that they did. A lot of it was listening to the coaches and being coachable. That is how you build that trust.”
Your ability to scramble, move in the pocket, and keep your head up looking downfield is another strength to your game. What were some other attributes to your skillset that were showcased during the 2018 season?
“My leadership qualities. As a freshman, you have to earn their trust. You cannot be scared. You have to show them you are ready. One thing that separated me with my abilities was throwing the deep and short ball. When I made that throw it was on target.”
When the season was finished, what do you feel were the strengths to your overall game?
“As I got more comfortable, I was reading the defense easily. I had to slow myself down in games, then I started picking them apart. Knowing coverages, getting inside my coaches’ heads, knowing what they want and what I should do were strengths to my game last season.”
What have you been working on with your technique this spring?
“I am closing my step. Sometimes I over-stride leaning left. One out of 10 passes will sail on me because of this. I am finishing through with the ball. I am training with a trainer on speed and agility.”
Over the summer months, what are your personal goals you want to accomplish as Centerville gets closer and closer to the start of the season?
“One of the biggest things is building a relationship with everyone on the team. You have to bring everyone together. A close team will play better together.”
Have you been to any camps this offseason?
“Yes. I went to an Elite 11 Regional and to a Rivals camp.”
How did the Elite 11 go?
“It was fun competing against the best from all around, seeing where you are at, and what you can improve upon.”
Are there any college camps on your summer schedule?
“Next week is when it all starts. My first camp is with Michigan and then I got to Michigan State. I am thinking about camping at Vanderbilt and Louisville, and I am going to Notre Dame, Purdue and maybe Pitt.”
Which programs are showing recruiting interest?
“Michigan State is showing a lot, Michigan, Vanderbilt, Notre Dame, Pitt, and Purdue.”
I know you have received a couple of offers. Receiving an offer is the dream for every high school football player. When you received your first offer, what was that moment like for you?
“I got my first offer at Louisville. It was just my dad and I. That was a special moment. I threw well at that camp. They pulled me aside and gave me the offer. It was an incredible feeling. Seeing it payoff, it was an amazing feeling.”
Which schools have you visited this spring?
“I have taken visits to Ohio State, Louisville, Cincinnati, Michigan State, and I went to Vanderbilt when I was down in Nashville for the Elite 11 Regional.”
How did the Vanderbilt visit go?
“It was cool. Their QB coach, Coach (Gerry) Gdowski was not there but I did watch some film on their offense with the coaches. The Vanderbilt campus is beautiful, and their academics are great. I liked the visit.”
What about the Michigan State visit, how did that go?
“That was an amazing visit. Coach Brad Salem (OC) and Coach Dave Warner (QB) were relatable. Their practice was awesome, and it was great meeting the quarterbacks. The quarterbacks, they were amazing and fun to talk to. I loved the campus and atmosphere. It was an awesome visit.”
Chase, it was great getting time in with you today covering your season, offseason workouts, and upcoming camps. Thanks for your time.
Photo credit: Harrison family; Chase Harrison at Michigan State