The state's No. 2 recruit will play for the Seminoles, where he'll be reunited with coach Willie Taggart.
They were just cute neighborhood kids playing basketball.
How unique the group is was inked on paper Wednesday as part of football’s signing day. Garfield wide receiver Tre’Shaun Harrison headlined the friends committing to play sports on the college level.
Harrison, the No. 2 football prospect in the state according to 247Sports.com, signed with Florida State. Across town, Rainier Beach standouts Anthony Stell (receiver) and Darrien Sampson (defensive back) signed with Eastern Washington. Up north, Bothell receiver Da’Vicious Wilson (receiver) signed with Central Washington. During the fall basketball signing period, Rainier Beach forward Kevin Porter Jr. (USC) and Cleveland post C.J. Elleby (Washington State) signed their national letter of intent.
All were on the same South Seattle Kings roster, a defunct nonprofit organization that traveled the region playing summer-league basketball. They even won an AAU national championship.
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“I could see they were special, and I wanted to keep them together,” said Rainier Beach coach Corey Sampson, who started the team as a way to keep his son Darrien and his friends busy. “This is a proud moment. I’m proud of my son and to be a role model for those guys.”
The boys remained close and said they frequently talk in amazement about where their talent is taking them.
“It’s fun knowing these guys over the years and seeing them coming up, too,” said Harrison after making his announcement at a ceremony at Garfield.
Bulldogs teammate Mekhi Metcalf played against Harrison’s team as a kid and also signed a NLI at Wednesday’s event. He’ll play receiver at Montana State alongside Garfield linebacker Jonathyn Jordan.
Harrison was the first offer from new coach Willie Taggart, who originally recruited Harrison to play at Oregon. Harrison de-committed from Oregon in December when Taggart left the program, but Harrison said the coaching change wasn’t the only reason. FSU is known for championships and producing NFL players, both of which Harrison wants to achieve.
Harrison helped Garfield reach its first Class 3A state football semifinals since 1977. He finished the season with 55 catches for 1,102 yards and 12 touchdowns, also playing defense and special teams as the punter and returning kicks and punts.
“The offense Oregon was showing me is stuff that I do now in high school, but there was uncertainty of who would be calling the plays and how it would be called,” Harrison said.
“That was a big deal. At Florida State, they had a plan for me. From start to finish. … I feel like I’ll fit in their system that (Taggart) was showing me. And I feel like they will be able to develop me.”
Reggie Jones, owner of Heir Football, is a longtime trainer for Harrison.
“It’s a face-paced offense where they want to use him in a variety of roles,” Jones said of FSU. “That will allow him to do what he does best, which is be electrifying with the ball in his hands.
“Washington is always seen as a second-tier state for talent. He’ll show there are ballers here that can compete anywhere. He has that on his shoulders and is more than capable of carrying that.”
Harrison’s mother, Louverta, and siblings wept as he began making his announcement speech. FSU is a five-hour plane ride, but her parents are from Louisiana, giving her son family in the region.
The Florida State official visit was last weekend with his mother. It was Harrison’s last visit after stops in Utah, Oregon and Tennessee. He told Taggart of his decision on Sunday and is planning to major in business or sports management.
“It felt like my roots,” Harrison said. “There are going to be doubters, I’ve just got to prove them wrong and stay the course.”